Chubby Bunny Case ContinuesFebruary 4, 2003
On Friday, January 31, 2003, Judge Barbara McDonald of the Circuit Court of Cook County ruled that a jury should resolve the “Chubby Bunny” case. Trial is now set for July 25, 2003.
On August 4, 1999, Catherine “Casey” Fish, 12, choked to death on a marshmallow playing a game “Chubby Bunny” at a school-sponsored function at the Hoffman Elementary School, Glenview, Illinois. Casey was a 6th grader.
“In denying the motion, Judge McDonald ruled there was a genuine issue for a Cook County jury to decide whether School District 34 and the teacher were reckless in allowing the children to play this dangerous game without supervision,” said Francis Patrick Murphy, a partner at Corboy & Demetrio who represents Casey’s parents and siblings.
“Chubby Bunny” is a game played by placing a full-size marshmallow into the mouth and saying “Chubby Bunny.” More and more marshmallows are jammed into the mouth with the child saying “Chubby Bunny.” Since the speech gets quickly garbled, the children end up laughing. Casey choked to death in the classroom in front of some of her friends during the unsupervised game.
“While Illinois law protects School District 34 and the teacher for the choice of the game – even an insane, dangerous game – the law does not protect reckless conduct in how the game is played,” Murphy continued. School District 34 and the teacher deny responsibility.
After Casey’s death, school districts through the country - including School District 34 - issued warnings about the “Chubby Bunny” game. The dangers of this game were also highlighted on an “Oprah” segment that summer.
“At the time of the trial this summer, Casey should have been finishing her sophomore year in high school,” Murphy added.