Wrongful-Death Suit Filed Against KDND
January 25, 2007 at 1:44 PM (PT)
Attorney ROGER DREYER of DREYER, BABICH, BUCCOLA & CALLAHAM this morning filed a wrongful-death civil suit in SACRAMENTO SUPERIOR COURT on behalf of the STRANGE family in relation to the death of JENNIFER STRANGE following ENTERCOM Top 40 KDND/SACRAMENTO's "Hold Your Wee For A Wii" water-drinking contest.
The defendants named include ENTERCOM/SACRAMENTO, ENTERCOM COMMUNICATIONS CORP., VP/Market Manager JOHN GEARY and since-dismissed PD/Station Mgr. STEVE WEED, Promotion Dir. ROBIN PECHOTA, morning show producer LIZ DIAZ and morning show members ADAM COX, STEVE MANEY, PATRICIA SWEET and MATT CARTER.
The suit alleges "negligence" and "intentional/reckless conduct" and seeks all expenses incurred plus undisclosed punitive damages and "such other and further relief as the court may deem just and proper." It contends that "at no time before the contest did the decedent sign a release of liability contractually relieving any defendants in their duty of care in organizing and running the contest" and charges that the defendants were aware that consuming excessive amounts of water "could result in physical injury or death," had knowledge "of similar contests at other radio stations in CALIFORNIA during which contestants required medical attention," but "took no reasonable steps to advise, warn, supervise or otherwise protect contest participants," even after they became ill.
"The negligence of defendants caused the death of JENNIFER STRANGE," states the suit. "Had the decedent been properly informed of the health risks associated with the contest, she would not have participated. Had medical professional or para-professional services been provided, the decedent would not have consumed the fatal doses of water, and would have had immediate access to life-saving medical care and treatment as she began to exhibit symptoms consistent with over-consumption of water."
The suit further says the defendants showed "a willful and knowing disregard of decedent's safety," noting that "instead of offering to provide medical assistance after decedent reported feeling ill, the talent verbally chastised and otherwise coerced her, exhorting her to remain in the contest by threatening that she would be disqualified if she 'puked.'"
The suit also states that the defendants dismissed warnings of water intoxication, joked about contestants dying, made mocking references "to the decedent’s distended abdomen from excess water consumption" and made "sardonic expressions of sympathy with the decedent, when she complained on-air that she was feeling ill."
Read the full complaint here.