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Family of Sacred Heart student who died at eating contest sues university

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BRIDGEPORT — The mother of a Connecticut college student who choked to death on pancakes during an eating contest on campus last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university.

Rosanne Nelson sued Sacred Heart University on Monday in Bridgeport state court over the death of her daughter, 20-year-old Caitlin Nelson, of Clark, New Jersey. The lawsuit seeks an undisclosed amount of money and accuses the school of approving the contest despite the dangers and failing to provide adequate medical personnel.

Officials at the Catholic university in Fairfield declined to comment.

Caitlin Nelson was a junior social work major whose father, police officer James Nelson, was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks in Manhattan. She died at a New York City hospital three days after participating in the eating contest.

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