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HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

Brain-injured food-eating contestant sues organizers

Vancouver Desi   November 30, 2013
First Published: 10:30 IST(30/11/2013) | Last Updated: 10:43 IST(30/11/2013)

The wife of a Surrey man who choked and suffered serious injuries during a food-eating contest at a 2012 Diwali event is suing the organizers for damages.

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In November 2012, Samaljit Aulakh suffered a severe brain injury after he participated in the contest organized by ethnic radio station RedFM, according to the lawsuit filed on his behalf by his wife, Kamaljeet Aulakh.

He had eaten a number of gulab jamuns, a doughy Indian sweet, and was identified as being the first contestant to finish.

But when he stood upright, he began to show signs of distress and the broadcaster advised him that if he threw up, he would not win the prize iPhone, says the notice of civil claim.

An employee dressed as a mascot approached him and gave him water, resulting in Aulakh, 37, aspirating the food, falling to the floor and choking on the food, says the lawsuit.

Aulakh quickly lost consciousness and suffered the brain injury. He has undergone surgery and continuous hospitalization and has been totally or nearly totally paralyzed, the suit claims.

The lawsuit says he has also been unable to control his bodily functions or communicate.

It alleges that the defendants, which include the radio station, were negligent by failing to ensure Aulakh would be safe and did not warn him of the risks involved in a food-eating contest.

It also says Aulakh, a shipper and receiver, was induced or encouraged to suppress his urge to vomit or expel the food and failed to have properly trained medical personnel available on the scene.

Reached Friday by telephone, Kamaljeet Aulakh declined to comment beyond what was in the lawsuit.

The radio station could not be reached. The lawsuit contains allegations that have not been proven in court.

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