Reuters: ten fired after radio contest death

Richard Chonak
Wed Jan 17 21:14:25 EST 2007


Entercom has fired 10 staff members of KDND-FM Sacramento after a 
28-year-old listener died Friday, apparently from water intoxication 
(hyponatremia), after participating in a water-drinking contest.  The 
mother of three drank about 7 quarts of water in an effort to win a 
computer game unit.   According to Reuters, on-air DJs conducted the 
contest even though they were aware of -- and made jokes about -- a 
previous water-drinking fatality case.

Wire service story:


The firing sounds reasonable, if the show's producers ran this stupid 
stunt without getting it approved by the company's lawyers.  The latter 
would presumably be cautious enough to think: if listeners are asked to 
engage in eating, drinking, or physical activity, get a medical opinion 
about safety.

When the lawsuit comes from the lady's family, cynics will blame her for 
her imprudence, but IMHO it's not necessarily obvious to an average 
person that drinking 7 quarts of water in a couple of hours is enough to 
kill you.   At first glance I'd expect a court to find the station staff 
(and maybe Entercom too) negligent.   Of course, the lawyers on the list 
can comment on this more knowledgeably.


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