California lawyer Raphael Metzger found his 17-year-old daughter Madelyn Rose dead in his swimming pool on August 10 last year. She put her head in the water, attempts to revive her failed. The autopsy showed that she was not under the influence and that no physical problems were the cause of her death. This was an accidental drowning, it turns out. An explanation that Metzger is not satisfied with.

Breathing exercises

The lawyer believes that the death was not accidental, but that people are actually responsible for it. Wim Hof ​​​​and his company Innerfire in the first place. The Dutch philosopher – known as the Iceman for being able to withstand extremely cold temperatures – recommends breathing exercises consisting of a series of strong inhalations, short exhalations and then a short pause in breathing. In this way, he says, you can hold your breath longer and longer, which can be an advantage during, for example, swimming.

These exercises are controversial because, according to critics, they often lead to hyperventilation and temporary unconsciousness. Madelyn Rose is said to have posted the exercises online not long before her death. For example, another tab was open in her browser. She may have performed the exercises in the water and drowned as a result, the lawyer believes.

67 million

That is why Metzger is taking the Dutchman and his company to court. Also, the girl’s mother and the lawyer’s ex-wife, Tammy, would have taught her the exercises. She is charged with negligence.

Metzger’s claim is not wrong. He demands damages of 67 million dollars from the defendants. In addition, he wants the right to oblige the Court to make it much clearer on his website, social media and advertising material that there is a danger associated with his method and that it must never be used in water.


There is no shortage of warnings on Innerfire’s website and advertising, CEO Enahm Hof ​​says in American media. Wim Hoof’s son emphasizes that these warnings are not only textual, but can also be seen in videos. Never practice while operating a vehicle or in or near water.

Wim Hof’s son calls the trial an attempt to falsely blame his father and the company for a terrible tragedy. “It pains me that Mr. Metzger is using his daughter’s death to sue his ex-wife and us,” he told Meanwhile, the court took legal action to prevent a trial. One of the motions he and his company filed says Hof has no business interests in California and has never marketed or sold products to residents of the state. Tammy has filed a mutual complaint against her ex-husband, claiming the lawsuit is another tactic in the divorce proceedings that tortured her and their daughter.

Not the first time

It is not the first time that someone has drowned doing Wim Hof’s breathing exercises. In 2016 and 2017, several drowning deaths in various countries were linked to Wim Hof’s breathing exercises. Hof’s son and director of his company previously said extensive warnings had been issued not to use the method underwater. “Everywhere on our site and in all our communications we warn people, that’s all we can do.”

On Twitter, journalist Scott Carney expressed New York Times further criticism of Hof. He speaks of thirteen deaths in the United States from the method, and he claims since the appearance of one documentary about having received threats and been subjected to intimidation.

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