Family sues bar, alleging corn dog contest led to woman's death

What started out as a birthday celebration ended with the death of a 56-year-old woman. Her family is suing, claiming the bar where the celebration took place is responsible for her death.

In January, Debra Harbeck and daughter, Jessie Harbeck, were at the Fire and Ice lounge celebrating Jessie's 22nd birthday. While at the bar, Debra Harbeck consumed 14 alcoholic beverages, including "three double shots and four double gin and tonics," according to the lawsuit reviewed by The Albuquerque Journal.

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Fire and Ice was hosting a corn dog eating contest, which Debra Harbeck participated in while in a highly intoxicated state, according to the lawsuit. She choked while consuming the corn dog, and despite patrons’ attempts to perform the Heimlich maneuver and CPR, she lost consciousness.

The loss of oxygen to her brain caused irreversible damage. The family pulled life support on Jessie Harbeck’s birthday, and Debra Harbeck died the next day.

The family has filed a wrongful death suit against Fire and Ice, accusing bar staff of overserving alcohol and for operating an eating contest without medical supervision.

According to KRQE, the bar has since closed. The club's owners did not respond to media requests for comment.

SANTA FE — Jessie Harbeck and her mother, Debra Harbeck, just wanted to celebrate with drinks the night before Jessie's...

Posted by Albuquerque Journal on Tuesday, August 9, 2016