Family gets $16m for Wii contest fatality

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The Independent US

The family of a woman who died after taking part in a water-drinking competition for a games console has been awarded $16m (£9.7m) in compensation from a US radio station that organised the contest.

Jennifer Strange, a mother of three from the California town of Rancho Cordova, took part in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" event in 2007, drinking two gallons of water in a matter of hours and resisting going to the toilet in an attempt to win the console for her children.

A Sacramento jury, told that Ms Strange died of acute water intoxication, agreed that the radio station, KDND-FM, had been negligent, ignoring several warnings that the game could have fatal consequences. The radio station, which fired 10 staff after the incident, argued that contestants should have understood the risks.

Soon after finishing second in the game, Ms Strange rushed to vomit and complained of a bad headache before heading home.

The Strange family lawyers played recordings of DJs making fun of sick contestants, despite one on-air host mentioning that a college student had died during a similar initiation ritual two years previously.

The radio station's parent company, Entercom, said it would respect the jury's decision.

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