Weirum v. RKO General, Inc.

Supreme Court of California539 P.2d 36 (1975)

Facts

KHJ radio station (KHJ), owned by RKO General, Inc. (RKO) (defendant), conducted a contest one summer where listeners were invited to follow and locate one of KHJ’s disc jockeys, Steele, as he traveled throughout Los Angeles. In order to claim a prize, the listener had to be the first to locate Steele when he stopped at a location. KHJ had a large teenage audience. Two teenage listeners, Sentner and Baime, were participating in the contest one day and both following Steele. They both were driving erratically as they attempted to gain the closest position to Steele’s vehicle. One of the two teenagers, it is unknown which, forced Mr. Weirum’s car from the freeway, causing his death. Mrs. Weirum and her children (plaintiffs) filed a wrongful death action against Sentner, Baime, RKO, and the manufacturer of Mr. Weirum’s car. Sentner settled prior to trial. After a trial on the merits, the jury returned a verdict against Baime and KHJ and found in favor of the manufacturer of Mr. Weirum’s car. KHJ filed a motion notwithstanding the verdict. That motion was denied. KHJ appealed.

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