Jury Selection Begins In KDND Civil Lawsuit Today
September 8, 2009 at 5:26 AM (PT)
The civil trial surrounding ENTERCOM Top 40 KDND (THE END)/SACRAMENTO's infamous "Hold Your Wee For A Wii" jury selection in the wrongful death trial of 31-year old JENNIFER STRANGE is scheduled to begin TODAY (9/8) in SACRAMENTO Superior Court, with ENTERCOM attorneys saying "the radio station made up the contest rules on the spot."
THE CONNECTICUT POST quotes briefs from the lawyers as saying, "The station was in pursuit of sheer entertainment value and top ratings in the SACRAMENTO market, and the result was a young mom who died trying to win a popular video game for her family."
The lawyers also will argue that the outcome was tragic, but it was far from predictable that anybody could die in the water-drinking contest. And if anybody was negligent, they say some of the responsibility has to be placed on the victim herself.
In their papers, plaintiffs' lawyers ROGER A. DREYER of SACRAMENTO and HARVEY L. LEVINE of SAN DIEGO charge that JENNIFER STRANGE died as a pawn in the radio station's ratings game.
"These actors wanted 'good radio,'" DREYER and LEVINE state in their brief. "To the Morning Rave, 'good radio' meant edgy, risking, exciting, even dangerous radio. A contest where adults might soil themselves just to win a video game? Might vomit publicly? Might be embarrassed and humiliated in the most personal and unhygienic of ways? How marvelous! How cutting edge! How captivating.
"That is why JENNIFER STRANGE died; not because of an oversight, but because ENTERCOM cared about ratings, not risk," the brief concludes.
SAN FRANCISCO attorneys DONALD W. CARLSON and DOUGLAS W. SULLIVAN, representing ENTERCOM, counter that the case will boil down to "foreseeability." They argue that nothing about the contest suggested danger.
"No one who was involved in this contest -- from the radio station employees who planned it to the contestants who participated in it and their family members and friends who were at the station during the contest -- had any idea that the contest was even remotely dangerous," the defense lawyers state. "No one understood that a person could die from voluntarily drinking too much water."
Last Week's Rumors? In The End -- It Was Just Stunting
No surprise -- as ENTERCOM Top 40 KDND (THE END)/SACRAMANTO isn't flipping formats (NET NEWS 9/4) -- they were just stunting to a promo about dropping some commercials, airing that they would "say goodbye" to something on the station.
THE SACRAMENTO PRESS reports "a FOX40 News viewer named ANDREW discovered a hidden webpage on KDND's website that spelled out the station's intentions: THE END was planning to announce a commercial-free format every TUESDAY between 9:30a and midnight."
THURSDAY (9/3), a source with the radio station confirmed a "change" would be coming to the station on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th.
This new commercial-free TUESDAY, oddly launches the same day ENTERCOM enters into a civil lawsuit as a defendant in the infamous "Hold Your Wee For A Wii" contest, which led to the death of JENNIFER STRANGE by way of water intoxication in 2007.