Entertainment Law Reporter
September 2006 Volume 28 Number 4

Radio station didnít cause death of woman during promotional event involving Britney Spears impersonator

Clear Channel Broadcasting has escaped liability for the death of a woman who was killed during a radio station publicity event. A disc jockey told listeners that Britney Spears would be at Clear Channel station for an on-air interview. Hundreds of people came to the station to see the performer, though in fact she was never there. Instead, the DJ interviewed a Spears impersonator. When the interview was over, and the impersonator was about to leave the station through a side door, the crowd ran around the building to see her. The woman fell, hit her head, and died. A New York appellate court held that neither the DJís claim that Spears was at the station, nor the stationís failure to control the crowd, caused the woman to fall. As a result, the appellate court ordered the complete dismissal of her estateís lawsuit.

Santodonato v. Clear Channel Broadcasting, Inc., 809 N.Y.S.2d 608 , 2006 N.Y.App.Div.LEXIS 904 (App.Div. 2006), app.denied, 7 N.Y.3d 706 , 2006 N.Y.LEXIS 1882 (N.Y. 2006)