Death by water intoxication lands family $16M settlement

Published: Oct. 30, 2009 at 9:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jan. 28, 2010 at 3:10 PM EST
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(NBC) - A California jury has awarded more than $16 million to the family of a young mother who died after drinking a large amount of water during a radio contest.

However, the station's parent company, Entercom Communications Corporation of Boston, was found not to be negligent in Jennifer Strange's death.

The jury also determined Strange was not negligent in her own death.

The jury, which delivered the split verdict after nine days of deliberation, awarded a total of $16,577,118.

Widower Billy Strange sued local radio station 107.9 The End and parent company Entercom Communications Corporation in connection with the station's 2007 "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest.

His wife died of apparent water intoxication after drinking more than a dozen bottles of water over a three-hour period in an attempt to win a video game system.

"I'm very thankful and appreciative that the jurors took their time and that they held the appropriate people accountable," Strange said after hearing the verdict Thursday.

Jennifer Strange's family members hugged each other in court after the verdict was read.

Billy Strange earlier testified about the devastating impact his wife's death has had on him emotionally.

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