Mother Of College Student Who Died After Charity Pancake Eating Contest Reaches Settlement With School

A picture of the outside of an emergency department.
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The mother of a college student who died after choking during a charity pancake eating contest has reportedly reached a settlement with the Connecticut school where the tragic incident took place.

Caitlin Nelson was taking part in the charity event at Sacred Heart University in 2017 when she began to choke while eating. As the Independent reported, two nursing students saw her begin to choke and immediately administered aid, and police and paramedics later joined in treating the college student. But Nelson did not recover, suffering severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen and eventually dying after being taken to a nearby hospital and later transferred to another in New York City.

The young woman’s mother, Roseanne Nelson, had filed a wrongful death suit against the university the following year claiming that the event was too dangerous to have taken place. She reportedly reached a settlement this week. Her lawyer confirmed that the lawsuit had now been dropped but did not give details about what damages may have been included, the Independent reported.

As the report added, the mother claimed that the school should have been aware of the dangers of having students eat the thick pancakes so quickly, and she also said they failed to have proper medical personnel on hand. The event had been organized by a sorority to benefit Prevent Child Abuse America, the outlet added.

Nelson fell ill as she struggled to eat so quickly, the suit claimed, and soon collapsed.

“When the buzzer rang, Caitlin did what nearly all amateurs do: she stuffed pancakes in her mouth much faster than she could swallow,” the suit stated, via CT Post.

“Moments later, Caitlin started to shake uncontrollably and then collapsed.”

Sacred Heart had filed its own lawsuit against the food service provider, claiming it was responsible and seeking for it to pay out the damages, but the university dropped it when the settlement was reached.

As the CT Post reported, the 20-year-old was remembered as a kind and loving person, and a playground was dedicated in her honor in her hometown.

“She was a selfless, loving, wise, and warm-hearted woman. She saw life as an opportunity to assist those in need,” her sister, Anne Nelson, said at the park’s dedication.

“Caitlin treated each and every person with respect, never failing to put a smile on someone’s face.”

Caitlin Nelson had already been in the spotlight during her youth, as her father was a New York City Port Authority police officer who died on 9/11.