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woman dies, 10 are fired, homicide investigation ensues, all because of radio station contest

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posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 09:38 AM
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A woman dies in California of water intoxication last Friday. She was taking part in a radio contest where she consumed large quantities of water trying to win a new Wii gaming system during the morning radio show. She left after winning second place instead, and was found dead that afternooon in her home.

Now Tuesday, 4 days after the incident, 10 station employees are fired. It is tragic for sure that a young woman, a mother, died in a contest to see how much water a person could consume before having to urinate, but to fire ten radio station employees over it? Is that really necessary? Is that fair? Her family is also filing a wrongful death lawsuit and a sherrif's homicide investigation continues. Homicide?

see story in Seattle Times

Was it really so ill-conceived? Where the risks not told to the participants? Were releases not signed? Perhaps they should have had a parametic on hand, or taken her headache more seriously, but she was an adult, and had a mind of her own. She could have sought medical attention afterwards.

Some are outraged that the DJ's were talking about the risk of death and laughing about it on-air during the contest, but certainly they were not hoping someone would die, and their jokes didn't kill her. They shouldn't be punished because of their humor-something everyone who laughed along with them shared at the time.

If no one had died, no one would be fired over their statements, or for apparently taking the risk so lightly, but certainly their statements are NOT what killed this woman, yet it is because of these statements I think, being cited in most stories about the incident, that make the DJ's seem callous and irresponsible in the contest, but certainly they, and the radio station, shouldn't be held responsible for her death.

Her voluntary participation, and excesssive water consumption killed her and indeed it is a tragedy. It is also unfortunate so many have lost their positions, and livelihoods because of it as well.

I think the firing excessive. I mean, it is understood and expected that the station does have a moral responsibility to show remorse and take some action in such a case, but isn't one fall guy enough? Why 10?

What do you think? Do you think the firings are excessive, or is the radio station to blame? Should everyone involved be fired, and the station sued, and someone involved even convicted personally for wrongful death?


[edit on 18-1-2007 by 2l82sk8]




posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 11:36 AM
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I personally don't think the firings were excessive.
The station was responsible for those participants period. Water intoxication is not commonly heard of and perhaps was not considered. Also I would say tolerance played a part here.

As far as her headaches went, she probably thought it was just that a terrible headache. I mean how many people think they are going to die from a bad headache. I certainly wouldn't have tied too much water to my brain cells swelling if it had been me. But I guarantee because it's spot lighted now people are more aware.

I think the DJ's comments were in very poor taste but certainly not grounds for firing but then again maybe it serves them right because here is a woman that is dead and 3 children without her. It's NOT FUNNY and they are decpicable for finding humor in it at all.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 12:00 PM
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I feel it's an over-reaction to fire ten radio station employees.

Obviously, the investigation is warranted.

We seek to find a positive in all situations and the positive in this case is that many thousands will be alerted (via the publicity) to the dangers inherent in consuming large volumes of ordinary water.

Whether or not contestants were advised of the possible dangers remains to be seen.

To put the matter in perspective, tens of thousands per year die due to doctors' incompetence and carelessness.

Tens of thousands of women have died or suffered stroke, heart attack and/or permanent damage from taking the widely touted HRT.

Hundreds, possibly thousands have died from taking (on the advice of their doctors) supposedly 'safe' and 'life enhancing' drugs for arthritis, weight-reduction, etc. Where is the outrage and publicity re: these preventable deaths and suffering?

I feel the publicity (and resultant over-reaction, firings, etc.) surrounding the Water Competition death are because the case involves a death ostensibly caused by drinking water; something people regard as 'harmless'.

Has it become the norm for families of a deceased person to immediately seek to gain financially from the death? Has every death become an 'opportunity' to be grasped? Are we worth more dead than alive?

Was the deceased woman responsible for her actions? She was employed in a medical establishment, apparently.

Did the deceased woman HERSELF research the possible dangers inherent in competitively consuming large volumes of water? Did she consider that HER OWN actions (for trivial possible reward) might leave HER children as orphans? Did she weigh the dangers against the rewards? If not, WHY NOT ?

Raises more questions than answers, but lots of lessons to be learned here.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by DDay
I personally don't think the firings were excessive.
The station was responsible for those participants period.


Even if they, the contestants, signed a release of liability for the station?

Even if not though, I still think ten people is excessive. Maybe a firing is called for, if it was ill conceived and definately not run properly maybe a few heads should roll, I just still think ten heads is alot to chop off.


Originally posted by DDay
Water intoxication is not commonly heard of and perhaps was not considered.


Well, It was joked about during the contest, so it was talked about. It will be a shame to learn it wasn't a considered or disclosed risk prior to the contest though.


Originally posted by DDay As far as her headaches went, she probably thought it was just that a terrible headache. I mean how many people think they are going to die from a bad headache. I certainly wouldn't have tied too much water to my brain cells swelling if it had been me. But I guarantee because it's spot lighted now people are more aware.


Perhaps now that ANOTHER incident has gotten some publicity, but it's not like it's unheard of or wasn't spotlighted before.

Even so, there is a difference between having a bad headache (Which I have had one bad enough, I have thought it would kill me and ended up in the ER wondering if I had an aneurysm or something) at home, and having a bloated stomach and headache after participating in a contest where I just drank large amounts of water in a short period of time.

Her condition at contest end should have rang some alarm bells for the station and/or herself at the end of the contest. Yes, I still hold her as partially responsible for her own actions even if I see the possibility the station was negligent to a degree. I am still not sure if such negligence equals manslaughter liability. I certainly disagree it should lead to ten losing their livlihood.

I just think those are excessive measures for the station to take to save face, and try to prove the *real evil-doers* have paid the price, and thus the corporate station has done their part in rectifying the situation.


Originally posted by DDay
I think the DJ's comments were in very poor taste but certainly not grounds for firing


Seems that somewhere during your writing you've changed your position some from all the firings not being excessive to the DJ's being excluded from that stand. I couldn't agree more, that of the ten, the DJ's are least liable.


Originally posted by DDaybut then again maybe it serves them right because here is a woman that is dead and 3 children without her. It's NOT FUNNY and they are decpicable for finding humor in it at all.


WHOA! An about-face? No, it's NOT funny. It's tragic, but the DJ's were NOT making fun of HER. Their jokes of poor taste and unfortuantely ill timing right before her death, should not reflect that they found ANY humor in this woman's death, or that they deserve to be fired.

[edit on 18-1-2007 by 2l82sk8]



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 12:51 PM
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but your country has people like howard stern on tv and radio, so the comments are something we could come to expect from america, wasn't it last year or the year before you all watched that woman die on tv news.

just look at how many vids come out of america with suicides or someone being killed on them, why.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 12:55 PM
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All the parties involved should be drowned.

That would be an eye for an eye and just.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 01:03 PM
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Originally posted by 2l82sk8
Well, It was joked about during the contest, so it was talked about.

Her condition at contest end should have rang some alarm bells for the station and/or herself at the end of the contest.


So they were aware of some sort of risk?
They should have researched this fully before doing what they did.
Obviously someone at the station was not doing their homework.
She died because someone neglected to inform her that she was risking her life.
It was the station's idea to hold the contest, so the station should be held responsible.
Off with their heads!

Did you honestly think this could happen and no one be held accountable?
I seriously doubt this women knew you could die of water overdose.
I'm 43 and I had no idea that you could die of this. I've never heard of it, but obviouly there are people out there who know about this.
Again , the radio station didn't do their homework, and a woman died because of this.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 01:04 PM
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I do not know how anyone can judge if it was excessive or not without knowing the part that each person who was fired played in the contest. They might have just fired the entire radio show team and producers.

As far as signed a release form, we all know by now that release forms are only as valid as the courts say they are. A judge can very easily say the release form is invalid for any numbers of reasons. Even with a release form I do not think that stops relatives from suing the radio station for a wrongful death suit.

I did not read the article but from the sound of it police could charge someone or the radio team with manslaughter charges, which is when a person is involved in an unintentional killing with a willful disregard for life. That sounds like it might be true if the DJ's were joking about how the person could die (meaning that they knew it was dangerous) and then the person died (unintentional killing).



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by 2l82sk8
Well, It was joked about during the contest, so it was talked about.

Her condition at contest end should have rang some alarm bells for the station and/or herself at the end of the contest.



Originally posted by rocknroll So they were aware of some sort of risk?(snip) Did you honestly think this could happen and no one be held accountable?


I take it you direct this question to me?

No, I did not think or mean to imply that I think no one would or should be held accountable.

I hold the woman partially responsible for her own actions, and the station responsible as well. I'm unsure to what degree, but I can tell you I think firing ten people or someone going to prison is excessive.

I will tell you however, I think the station, should be made to monetarily compensate her precious and now motherless children. Especially if proven to be negligent in disclosing the risks-then that ups the monetary stakes if you ask me.

I am still in disagreement with firing 10 people.

and just so the moral some of you point out about not knowing/now knowing the risks of drinking too much water, you should be aware it's actually consuming too much water in too little time. It causes an imballance in electrolytes and the complications just stem from there.

It can happen to a healthy athlete or to a dehydrated person-sometimes ESPECIALLY to a dehydrated person- who drinks plain water excessively without putting electrlytes back into their bodies. This is why electrolytic water and sports drinks are sold and encouraged.

[edit on 18-1-2007 by 2l82sk8]



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by 2l82sk8
I hold the woman partially responsible for her own actions, and the station responsible as well. I'm unsure to what degree, but I can tell you I think firing ten people or someone going to prison is excessive.

I will tell you however, I think the station, should be made to monetarily compensate her precious and now motherless children. Especially if proven to be negligent in disclosing the risks-then that ups the monetary stakes if you ask me.

I am still in disagreement with firing 10 people.

and just so the moral some of you point out about not knowing/now knowing the risks of drinking too much water, you should be aware it's actually consuming too much water in too little time. It causes an imballance in electrolytes and the complications just stem from there.

It can happen to a healthy athlete or to a dehydrated person-sometimes ESPECIALLY to a dehydrated person- who drinks plain water excessively without putting electrlytes back into their bodies. This is why electrolytic water and sports drinks are sold and encouraged.

[edit on 18-1-2007 by 2l82sk8]


I have no idea what role the ten people who were fired played in setting up and researching the safety (if any was done at all) for this contest. You think a radio station would have a lawyer on retainer they would run ideas like this by.

This first time I heard of water intoxification was when that kid at Chico State died from it a year ago or so and there were several articles talking about marathon runners and other atheletes who had died from this condition.

The reason so many people we're fired and the main reason charges are being filed is that there is tape recording of the DJ's joking about the dangers and talking about the kid in Chico who had died from water intoxification. The played the tape on the news here last night and one of the hosts is asking the other one "isn't this dangerous, didn't like some kid die from this last year?" to which he replied "yeah but we'll stop them once they throw up and besides they signed a relase so it's not our problem" (quotes paraphrased).

The sheriff's office also got information that the radio station received several calls from people warning the DJ's about the dangers of this contest and that someone wouldn't neccessarily throw up prior to having irreversible complications.

They laughed these off and went on with the scheduled contest.

So here you have a group of people who have some questions as to the safety of their event but fail to properly investigate how to safely conduct this type of event. These same people disregard several calls that warn them explicitly of the dangers involved. They conduct their event and someone dies.

We will never know for sure what the deceased knew about water intoxification ... but we do know that the station employees had at least a little reservation about the safety and also had ample warning from several sources over the safety. The fact they had knowledge of dangers (or reasonable notice of danger) is what has got them into a load of trouble. At the very least they are civilly responsible for this death ... I would belief their reckless disregard for safety would make them criminally responsible for at least manslaughter as well.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 03:28 PM
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I thought the whole thing was pretty stupid. I mean risking one's health to get a game?

And the way the employees joked about safety was pretty callous to say the least.

The whole incident is a waste.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 06:13 PM
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Someone finally out did Opie and Anthony's Sex for Sam 3.

Heads must roll for this type of thing.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 07:10 PM
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It's common knowledge in the UK that too much water can kill, there was a big anti ecstasy campaign in the 90's after a girl called Leah Betts died on ecstasy.

Anti drug campaigners used "Sorted: Just one ecstasy tablet killed Leah Betts" & did a national campaign on it, it then came out that Leah had actually died of water intoxication.

The government then had to change their public information film which was saying drink lots of water, to say drink 1 pint of water every couple of hours if your using e's.

en.wikipedia.org...

I just mention this because it took Leah Betts death to raise awareness to the fact that you can die from drinking too much water in the UK.
This will do the same for the U.S & you won't hopefully see this type of event occuring again.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 08:00 PM
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I saw on one of those entertainment tabloid shows that the station had been warned. The DJ responded to info on toxic water death with - 'It's OK, they've signed liability forms.'

Cavalier, and I assume he just felt confident that nothing was going to happen. It reminds me a bit of the week long dance-a-thons of the Depression era, when people also risked toxic exhaustion or shock for a few bucks.

The coliseum.

Tragic all around.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 08:42 PM
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Hopefully that DJ and his other ex-radio "professionals" will never work again, improper research, a cavalier attitude, and hiding behind a 'Liability Form' do not legally protect anyone or entity from legal prosecution. The Radio Station will probably go broke after the lawsuits finish and of course they will have this incident following them until they either change their format and station identification or the Moon falls out of the sky.

Maybe the DJ and his pals should have their reproductive organs tied up with string to see if they can recover after being denied blood flow for a few hours, it'll be okay, cause they can always sign a liability waiver.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 09:10 PM
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I think it's a pretty funny story. Hahahaha, the lady died, her kids have no mom, hahahaha! That's funny as hell.

Now what? You're going to hate me because I have an opinion? Are you going to try and define how inhuman I am, and at the same time define what it is to be human? I'm glad there are humans who have the knowledge to tell others what they should think and what not to say. Whew, I can rest easy knowing that.

Their comments should not be taken into consideration, and the ruling should be suicide on the case, unless someone forced her to drink that much water, other than herself. That is what it is, a suicide. She killed herself, regardless of how the DJs responded to it, or acted as she did it (unless they encouraged her to die, then it would be an accomplice sort of issue). No one should be fired at all.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 09:23 PM
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The radio station will get sued for alot of money and the radio people that got fired deserve to get fired. Atleast one of the idiots who planned the contest should have checked on the health impacts of drinking too much water. I remember hearing a story about these sick foster parrents that killed a foster child by force feeding her water and dying it was a big story for a while and i'm sure someone must have known what could have happend including the woman who died. I don't know how the station will defend against being warned ahead of time by that one listener. I think this case should be ruled a suicide because she could have stoped at any time she wasnt feeling well, but she didn't. The cause of death should be stupidity and the DJ's and who ever else was involved the planning the contest should recive some kind of punishment but no jail time.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 09:27 PM
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There is a coercion factor in this case.

People were offered a prize in a seemingly harmless contest that, in fact, was dangerous.

When the station was informed that the the contest could lead to death, one of the station employees responded that they knew that, but it wasn't their problem because all the contestants had signed waivers.

That's beyond callous. That's gross negligence.

Someone should pay.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 10:14 PM
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She only won second place? How's the grand prize winner feeling?
As a legal nurse consultant I can tell you what issues will be brought up.

1) Consent is useless if it's not informed consent. Did they tell her or any of the contestants that death could result from participation in the contest?

2) If so, then a wrongful death suit can certainly be won by the family of the deceased but a large amount of the awarded money will be subtracted from the final payout because she was partly responsible for her own death.

3) Was she on any psychotropic medications, legally "competent", chemically impaired when she signed the consent? Did she have an IQ that matched her bra size? Was there any reason she should not have understood the stated risks?

4) What was the intent of the station for promoting an activity which they knew to have a potentially lethal outcome?

5) The DJ's don't have a medical background and can't be considered proper authorities for giving medical advice, neither can the station. The station manager should have consulted a medical authority.

6) The DJ's are paid to do the job given to them by the station manager. I doubt that any of them came up with this contest on their own. In retrospect, their distasteful jokes can not be seen as "intent", merely distasteful (and disrespectful if the jokes continued after they learned of the woman's demise).

There are several issues at stake here but undoubtedly there will be "fallout" and scapegoats are always required during such times. Someone will pay and it will probably be the station manager. I can see the DJ's getting reinstated but probably transferred. The station owner will just blame it on the manager as will the DJ's. Middle management is usually the favored scapegoat.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by 2stepsfromtop
Hopefully that DJ and his other ex-radio "professionals" will never work again, improper research, a cavalier attitude, (snip)
Maybe the DJ and his pals should have their reproductive organs tied up with string to see if they can recover after being denied blood flow for a few hours, it'll be okay, cause they can always sign a liability waiver.


Ok, this is the type of absurdity I see in the reasoning that the DJ's should be fired. Here, they should be catrated as well-for their sense of humor?

They were doing their hired job-to entertain.

As far as I know, and I've known a few DJ's, it has never been their responsibility to do research, assess risks, or act as medical professionals or medical consultants.

Furthermore, to make comparisons with what happened to this woman because of her voluntary will to participate in a contest (informed or uninformed of the risk) and these Dj's being castrated being a fine remedy if you could get them to sign a waiver is a rediculous comparison.

However if they WANTED to participate in having their reproductive organs tied up to participte in a contest, and signed a waiver, then I'd feel they'd have every right to, and if castrated-it would be their own fault. Just as I hold this woman partially responsible for her own death.






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