Corndog Eating Contest Ends in Tragedy

In January of 2016 Jessie Harbeck met up with her mother, Debra Harbeck, at a nightclub to celebrate her 22nd birthday. Within 24 hours, the young woman’s mother tragically passed away.

The now-defunct nightclub Fire and Ice in Albuquerque held a corndog eating contest on the night Jessie Harbeck and her mother were in attendance. Debra chose to enter the contest.

After the contest began, Debra began to choke on the corndog. Patrons of the nightclub immediately applied CPR and the Heimlich maneuver before paramedics arrived, but the loss of oxygen to her brain caused irreparable damage.

Debra was put on life support, but her daughter’s wish for her birthday was to end her mother’s suffering. She was taken off life support on January 28 2016, Jessie Harbeck’s actual birthday.

Wrongful-Death Suit Filed

Jessie, and Anthony Harbeck, the husband of Debra, are now suing PKG Investments LLC (the operator of the nightclub), Anodyne Corp., (the leaser of the liquor license) and Hinkle Investments LLC (the owners of the property the night club was leasing).

The lawsuit filed in Sante Fe states that Debra Harbeck was highly intoxicated and had been over served at the bar. Her blood alcohol level was between 0.13 and 0.14 at the time of the contest.

The suit continues to argue that the club should have had proper medical personnel available during the contest and that the contest was not properly supervised.

Damages Available in a Wrongful-Death Claim

Should a defendant be found liable in court, a variety of damages may be awarded to suffering parties. Some of these expenses include:

  • Medical expenses related to the deceased individual’s injury or illness
  • Mental anguish caused by the death of a spouse, a child or a parent
  • Loss of inheritance and financial contributions to the household
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of companionship
  • The deceased individual’s pain and suffering prior to death

Finding Help with Your Wrongful Death Claim

Gilstrap and Associates Firm, P.C. has the experience, the resources and the compassion necessary to ensure that those who are suffering from the unforeseen passing of their loved one are properly compensated for their loss.

Our accomplished attorneys offer complimentary initial consultations to anyone who has questions about their potential wrongful death claim or who need guidance on how to proceed.

To arrange your consultation with one of our wrongful death attorneys today, please call us today at (915) 581-0020.