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Fox News Sued for Live Airing of Man's Suicide


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#1 PrideInThisTeam

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:53 PM

http://www.hollywood...e-airing-570026

According to the complaint filed by Angela Rodriguez, the mother of JoDon Romero's three sons, aged 9, 13 and 15, the boys have suffered extreme emotional distress after seeing online video of their father pressing a handgun to his head and pulling the trigger. News Corp., Fox Entertainment Group and Fox News Network are named as plaintiffs in the complaint.

The footage had aired live on Fox News and was seen by millions of horrified viewers. Fox News covered the dramatic events across multiple programs on Sept. 28, 2012, as Romero led police on an 80-mile chase, during which he fired at squad cars and news helicopters. It was during Studio B With Shepard Smith that Romero, 32, exited his vehicle in the desert near Salome, Ariz., ran down a dirt road, tumbled, then stood up and shot himself in the head, to an audible gasp in the newsroom.
Host Shepard Smith, who had been narrating the coverage, shouted at the control room, "Get off, get off, get off, get off, get off, get off, get off — get off it, get off it, get off it!" A flustered Smith returned after a commercial break to explain that the network had "really messed up and we're all very sorry." Fox senior vice president Michael Clemente later released a statement explaining that "severe human error" has failed to censor the footage.

The suit states that the local Fox News affiliate successfully ran the delay, preventing Phoenix viewers from watching the suicide live. But it ran live in most other markets, and was on YouTube within minutes. According to the lawsuit, Romero's three sons were at school during the pursuit.
"Rumor of a suicide broadcast on live television generated considerable buzz among the students at the school, particularly with respect to the two older boys," the suit reads.

"After school, the older boys went home and began looking for the suicide on the Internet," the suit continues. The two boys then searched out the footage on YouTube and "as they watched, they realized in horror that they were watching their father."

Neither of the older two children has returned to school since viewing their father's death on YouTube, the complaint says. It then quotes an examining psychologist who found them to demonstrate "symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that included flashbacks, repeated thoughts and feelings associated with viewing the video of their father shooting himself in the head, re-experiencing trauma, sleep disturbance, and intrusive thoughts."

"This psychological trauma is substantial and long-term. It will, upon information and belief, require long-term psychiatric and/or psychological treatment," writes Joel Robbins and Anne Findling, attorneys for the Romero family. The causes of action are intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The complaint seeks unspecified damages "to the extent permitted by law."

The case essentially poses an invasion-of-privacy theory, albeit one that's difficult to prove since Romero carried out his actions in public and not in his home.
Fox News tells The Hollywood Reporter that it won't comment on pending litigation.

Well...someone sure screwed up on this one..
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#2 The Magician

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:57 PM

Wow and no one part of Fox News would have thought "oh duh, we're showing millions of people live footage of a man shooting himself"
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#3 Imuzi

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:58 PM

Wasn't it one of those police chases on film where this happened? Fox couldn't have known that this guy was going to off himself.
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#4 BlurTriX

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:59 PM

Why isn't the video deleted yet?
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#5 BlurTriX

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:03 PM

Cmon dude delete that

Edited by BlurTriX, 17 June 2013 - 10:10 PM.

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#6 PrideInThisTeam

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:06 PM

I kept the vid out of my post for a reason...something like that has no business being on the actual boards.
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#7 250Integra

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:10 PM

I put it in spoilers so to BlurTrix, you're a fool.

If mods think the video has no business here, then please remove it (although it was posted here originally when it occurred).
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#8 BlurTriX

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:11 PM

Some people have no respect man...
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#9 The Hornet

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:12 PM

FAMILY FRIENDLY SITE!!!


SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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#10 BlurTriX

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:13 PM

I put it in spoilers so to BlurTrix, you're a fool.

If mods think the video has no business here, then please remove it (although it was posted here originally when it occurred).

I don't care it's someone's death you freaking idiot! Covering it with spoilers in my eyes makes no difference!
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#11 250Integra

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:16 PM

I don't care it's someone's death you freaking idiot! Covering it with spoilers in my eyes makes no difference!


There's a "warning" and it was in spoilers for a reason. In the end, you chose to watch the video when you clearly knew what was going to be seen.

Did you expect to watch Barney and Friends or something?

Edited by 250Integra, 17 June 2013 - 10:19 PM.

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#12 Jimayo

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:19 PM

Wasn't it one of those police chases on film where this happened? Fox couldn't have known that this guy was going to off himself.


Couldn't even bother to read the op huh?
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#13 Common sense

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:20 PM

I don't care it's someone's death you freaking idiot! Covering it with spoilers in my eyes makes no difference!


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#14 nucklehead

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:21 PM

Wasn't it one of those police chases on film where this happened? Fox couldn't have known that this guy was going to off himself.


they coulda shoulda tape delayed the broadcast.
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#15 hockeyville88

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:21 PM

Despite the video being posted in spoilers and with a warning, it has been removed as it doesn't belong on a family-oriented forum, period.

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#16 Beluga Whale

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:22 PM

I put it in spoilers so to BlurTrix, you're a fool.

If mods think the video has no business here, then please remove it (although it was posted here originally when it occurred).


I don't think it's such a big deal. Anyone watching it is fully aware of what's to come.

Edited by Beluga Whale, 17 June 2013 - 10:24 PM.

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#17 theminister

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:24 PM

This is the eventual result when America gets obsessed with watching live chases.

It's a bad idea all around.
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#18 One one two

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:25 PM

Wow and no one part of Fox News would have thought "oh duh, we're showing millions of people live footage of a man shooting himself"


I believe most networks have a 5-8 second delay on their live broadcasts to avoid these type of incidents.

Why isn't the video deleted yet?


I would imagine it's because the video holds educational merit and thus doesn't violate any of YouTube's policies. If you mean deleted from here, your answer is a few posts up.

Edited by One one two, 17 June 2013 - 10:33 PM.

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#19 BlurTriX

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:26 PM

There's a "warning" and it was in spoilers for a reason. In the end, you chose to watch the video when you clearly knew what was going to be seen.

Did you expect to watch Barney and Friends or something?

Okay fair enough, just doesn't look respectful in my eyes, I get your point. Posting someone's death on the internet just sounds horrible...
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#20 Imuzi

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:27 PM

Couldn't even bother to read the op huh?

Funny enough when I first joined this forum UncleBob chewed me out for the exact same thing.

I'm just as lazy as I was back then.
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#21 Dittohead

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:30 PM

hope they lose. Im sure fox will just settle.
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#22 The Brahma Bull

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:30 PM

Those poor kids. :(
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#23 TACIC

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:31 PM

Okay fair enough, just doesn't look respectful in my eyes, I get your point. Posting someone's death on the internet just sounds horrible...

Tell that to the donkeys who posted it on YouTube in the first place...
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#24 Offensive Threat

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:33 PM

So his kids were traumatized by being able to view the suicide? Were they any less traumatized by their father actually committing suicide and being a wanted violent criminal who had just jacked a car at gunpoint and fired on pursuing officers? Im gonna go ahead and assume their father had been a fairly constant source of trauma to the family from day one and at least this time it was the last time.
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#25 BlurTriX

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:36 PM

Tell that to the donkeys who posted it on YouTube in the first place...

No kidding, anyways just overreacted I guess.
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#26 pimpcurtly

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:36 PM

I'm hopeful that those kids will be better off without their father. Still a really harsh thing to see that will effect them, probably, forever. :(
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#27 TACIC

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:38 PM

No kidding, anyways just overreacted I guess.

Its the internet, people post some pretty nasty, disrespectful and discusting stuff all the time
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#28 Lancaster

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 12:46 PM

Hopefully someone gets canned over this. When the host is able to mutter "get off" multiple times and yet nothing was done.... :sadno:
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#29 Langdon Algur

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 12:52 PM

Why isn't YouTube also named in the law suit?
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#30 VancouverCanucksRock

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:49 PM

But if it wasn't their father, they wouldn't have given a crap, and probably said "BOOM HEADSHOT!" am I right?
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