Thursday, January 25, 2007

Frivolous Lawsuits Are Way Too Predictable

Hey remember in my first post on the "hold your wee for a Wii" post, how I said:

As tragic as this death is, how long do you think it will be until this woman's family sues the radio station? Or for that matter - the water company? Remember, there's no personal responsibility in America.
Well, way to go family (giant paragraph via TSG):
The family of the California woman who died from water intoxication after trying to win a video game console in a radio station stunt has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the architects of the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest. Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old mother of three, died on January 12 after drinking almost two gallons of water while taking part in a giveaway contest sponsored by Sacramento's KDND-FM. The contest awarded a Nintendo console to the person who could avoid urinating (or vomiting) after drinking a large quantity of water. Strange finished second among 18 contestants, and complained that her head hurt and she felt lightheaded when dropping out of the contest. Hours later, she died of water intoxication, according to the Sacramento County coroner. The wrongful death lawsuit ... names the radio station's owner and eight individuals as defendants. The complaint, which does not specify monetary damages, include a number of on-air statements made by radio station personnel, including one DJ who noted that they should have "researched" water intoxication before conducting the contest. Also, when a caller who identified herself as a nurse warned that contestants could face illness or death, an on-air personality replied, "Yeah, they signed releases so we're not responsible so it's okay." Strange ... was awarded two tickets to a Justin Timberlake concert as a consolation prize.
It's time to realize that your spouse/mom entered into a stupid contest, didn't know her limits, failed to call her illness to anyone's attention (even though she presumably knew the danger from when the nurse called in), and now she's dead. The radio station didn't force her to compete; it was her own decision that carried its own consequences. How about you let her rest in peace rather than having her name associated with a ridiculous lawsuit? Or is it money you're after?