Family Sues Radio Station Over Water Intoxication Death

I've covered the water intoxication death of Jennifer Strange, first describing it here, with an update here. Her death was the result of a water-drinking contest organized by a radio station in Sacramento, with the prize being a Nintendo Wii. to date, the DJ's in charge of the stunt have been fired and the station was conducting an internal investigation.

A new development in the debacle is a wrongful death suit which is being brought by Strange's family, against the radio station that green-lighted the fatal stunt ("Hold your Wee for a Wii").

(Continued below.....) seems that the family of Jennifer Lea Strange will be aiming for Sacramento-based KDND-FM, its parent company Entercom, and the employees associated with the whole "Hold your wee for a Wii" ordeal in a wrongful death lawsuit. Although on-air personalities claimed that the contestants signed "a release," that paper was apparently one that simply "granted the station permission to use the contest in its promotional materials," and the family lawyer believes that no waiver of liability was ever signed. Notably, the FCC has jumped into the investigation as well at the request of the family's attorney, as one of their suggestions is to have the station "taken off the air." Per usual, the lawsuit "seeks unspecified medical, legal, burial, and funeral costs," as well as presumably lofty sums of money to compensate for "other punitive damages," which we're fairly sure they'll end up receiving.

I found a lot more about the lawsuit on the infamous Smoking Gun. Apparently she was awarded 2 tickets to a Justin Timberlake concert as a consolation prize. And when someone called in to tell them that the contest was dangerous, the DJs reportedly said that since the contestants signed a waiver the station wouldn't be responsible for anything. However it was revealed that this waiver never released the radio station from damages but rather signed over rights to use the contestant's likenesses, voices, quotes, etc for promotion. (HT: Steve for the Engaget story)

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Damn, that is some interesting news.

It wouldn't be smart for the family to argue that the station should be taken off the air. After all, they are going to own it in a few years.

Hmmm. I don't know who's at fault. I mean, don't we all have an internal warning system that goes off and says, "Hey, I'm doing something that doesn't feel right?" And don't the DJs have an obligation to stop something that just doesn't look right -- and it's easy to assume that if they did, they didn't because they were thinking about ratings? But what do I know? Thanks for following this -- it is strange, and I know I wouldn't be able to keep up with it.