Extreme Pumpkin-Carving Contest Injury Prompts Lawsuit

(CN) – Speed pumpkin carving takes things too far, according to the Boulder woman who sued a University of Colorado club Monday after she sliced her hand in a contest.

During a recruitment event in October 2018, Boulder Freeride – as the Ski and Snowboard Club at CU is known – picked five students to participate in a pumpkin carving race. The club provided the tools, long serrated knives “similar to a bread knife,” and a cheering crowd of 200.

According to plaintiff Sydney Sender’s seven-page lawsuit filed in the District Court of Boulder County, the crowd encouraged the carvers “to go faster and faster. In the process of carving her pumpkin, [Sender’s] hand slid down the serrated portion of the knife and she was severely injured, severing tendons and nerves in her right hand.”

The knives lacked a finger guard and the club failed to provide gloves, safety equipment, or instructions, Sender claims.

While Sender went to the hospital in an ambulance, three other contestants cut themselves during what the complaint calls an “unreasonably dangerous incident.”

In addition to six hours of surgery, Sender underwent physical therapy and continues to suffer “loss of range of motion and hand strength [and] severe pain and numbness to her fingers.”

Sender’s claims include hazing, negligence, and premises liability and she seeks unspecified damages and attorney’s fees. She is represented by attorney P. Randolph Nicholson of the Boulder-based firm Sloat Nicholson & Hoover.

On its website, Boulder Freeride describes itself as a lifestyle club run by a board of 12 to 18 students, focused “on the social aspect of the ski/snowboard lifestyle, while still providing members with everything they need to have an epic season.”

The organization did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

In another seasonally spooky incident, Tammie Tade of Thornton, Colorado, sued the Frightmare Compound in Jefferson County on Oct. 9, claiming “the Texas Chainsaw Massacre character” frightened her into falling onto large rocks in a poorly lit area.

Sometimes truth is more frightening than fiction.

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