Burn Victim Ridiculed By Shock Jocks Gets $1M Settlement
A lawsuit brought by a burn victim who was publicly ridiculed by radio shock jocks on their program will reportedly be settled for $1 million.
Athena Andrikopoulos, 26, who was severely burned when she was a small child, is facially disfigured despite having undergone 60 surgeries, reports the Associated Press.
She testified yesterday in state court in Albany, New York, that she was devastated by the Feb. 15, 2006 broadcast by J.R. Gach and Shawn Bolts. Bolts had seen Andrikopoulos working the day before in suburban Albany at her family-owned restaurant, according to lawyers in the case.
Her suit, which alleged intentional infliction of severe emotional distress, named the two disc jockeys and their radio station, which is owned by Syracuse-based Galaxy Communications, as defendants.
“It really was beyond cruel and unkind. It was really just horrific things, much of which you couldn’t print,” says Mike Mackey, a lawyer representing her. “It was an attempt to take the shock jock industry maybe to the next level.”
Attorney John Lynch, who represents Gach and Bolts, declined to comment. Attorney John McGowan, who represents Galaxy, confirmed the settlement.