Massachusetts woman sues after husband dies in triathlon

A Massachusetts woman whose husband died while participating in a the USA Triathlon has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the organizers of the race, which consists of a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and 10-kilometer run.

The 53-year-old Beverly man died during the swimming portion of the event on Aug. 18, 2012. According to the lawsuit, the man had been seen off course during the swim event and rescue personnel attempted to re-direct him but did nothing else to assist him.

Minutes later, rescue crews spotted the man face down in the water. The lawsuit states that several unsuccessful attempts were made to rescue the man before he was finally pulled from the water and CPR was administered.

By this time, the lawsuit states that about 7-10 minutes had passed. The man was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that drowning was the cause of death.

The man’s wife, in her lawsuit, claims that USA Triathlon was negligent in running and organizing the event, and that’s what caused the death. The wife says that there was inadequate supervision during the swim as well as inadequate lifesaving equipment.

She seeks $1 million in damages for wrongful death, pain and suffering, punitive damages and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

In an interview with a local newspaper, the Beverly man’s family members said he “trained like an animal” for the triathlon and was extremely athletic throughout his entire life. They believe that he suffered a medical event during the swim and, sadly, rescue workers were not available to assist him.

Losing a loved one in an accident involving negligence is extremely tragic. Not only does the family have to deal with the loss, they also have to deal with the pain associated with knowing that the death could have been avoided.

Source:, “Beverly widow sues USA Triathlon for wrongful death,” Natalie Miller, July 31, 2013