TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Updated: Another Stupid Radio Promotion - Will it Result in Litigation?

Respectful Insolence has the details, and a medical take.  The basics (from the AP story):

A woman who competed in a radio station's contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication, the coroner's office said Saturday.

Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday in her suburban Rancho Cordova home hours after taking part in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest in which KDND 107.9 promised a Nintendo Wii video game system for the winner.

Hard to argue with Orac's take:

One can only hope that such a criminal level of ignorance and negligence results in appropriate penalties. In actuality, although I do not discount individual responsibility, most people are ignorant of how little it takes to cause water intoxication. It is not stated whether qualified medical personnel were present or whether the radio station had vetted its idea with a physician, but any competent physician would have told the organizers that this contest was a very bad idea indeed. The radio station showed an uttterly reckless disregard for the safety of the contestants.

The Wayback Machine archive for the station's website stops in mid-2006, but the Google cache (PDF here) has this:

Hold Your Wee for a Nintendo Wii!
We managed to get our hands on another one of this years hottest gifts...
A Nintendo Wii! We're gonna give it away Friday morning. All you have to do is call the Rave and tell us your lame, worst, most boring Christmas gift you got this year! It just may get you into our contest! Can you hold "it" in for a long time? We're having you drink water every 15 minutes! And the last person to go to the bathroom wins the Wii!

Update: This story indicates there was some sort of liability waiver.

Another update: Our sentencing neighbors address the criminal law question.

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