We have all heard about the Tough Mudder events. They are fun, challenging and popular. Unfortunately, they can also be risky. In this case, 28-year-old Avishek Sengupta drowned at the Tough Mudder Mid-Atlantic event on March 20, 2013 in West Virginia and the wrongful death lawsuit claimed that Tough Mudder and Airsquid Ventures, whose subsidiary was responsible for aquatic safety at the event, among others,with gross negligence for their conduct at the “Walk the Plank” water obstacle. The complaint alleges that overcrowding made it impossible for rescue and safety personnel to monitor the pool and that Tough Mudder removed safety features to speed up crowd flow.
Before this event took place, Tough Mudder had received several complaints on social media about long waiting times at many of its obstacles. In response to complaints of long wait times at Walk-the-Plank, Tough Mudder took steps to decrease wait times and increase the flow of participants through the Obstacle. This led Tough Mulder to decrease if not completely abandon their safety measures.
Avishek Sengupta and his “Walk the Plank” teammates experienced a traffic jam of other people while they wanted for their turn to plunge. They had to slowly make their way with hundreds of other participants toward a near vertical wall of two-by-sixes that rose to a platform 15 feet above a man-made pool of muddy water that was roughly 40 feet wide and 15 feet deep. When they reached the top, they would have to leap in and swim to the other side, only Sengupta didn’t resurface after he went into the water. He was underwater and sinking to the bottom, passing out at some point, for reasons that are still unknown. When he was seen on the surface, at least eight and a half minutes after he’d jumped, he would be unconscious and in the arms of a rescue diver.