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YIKES! What do u think of this?????

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
A man is suing Candid Camera tv show for a prank they played on him..
Saw this on tv so looked online and found this link. What dou think of this?????

By Laura Barcella
Court TV
"Okay, where's the candid camera?" Philip Zelnick demanded on June 15, 2001, when an airport security official in Bullhead City, Ariz., instructed him to climb atop an authentic-looking, but phony, X-ray scanner machine.

It seemed fishy, but Zelnick, 35, complied with the request of the "security official" — actually show host Peter Funt. By the time the stunt was done, however, Zelnick appeared in no mood to "smile!", as the show's guests are often entreated to do. Instead, he sued.

In a suit filed against Funt, "Candid Camera," the PAX television network, the airport and the Mojave Country Airport Authority, Zelnick claimed he incurred bruises and bleeding after becoming stuck in the faux scanner. Though identical in appearance to scanners reserved for carry-on luggage, the fake scanner did not emit real rays.

According to his lawyer, Andrew Jones, Zelnick's thigh was pinched in the machine, forming a red, fist-sized "raspberry." His leg was also punctured by a pen inside his pocket.

"It wasn't a deep wound," Jones told But "anxiety, distress, and humiliation" were after-effects of Zelnick's experience.

Zelnick sought an unspecified amount in damages for battery, negligence, false imprisonment, misrepresentation and infliction of emotional distress. Prior to the trial, Jones hesitated to speculate about an outcome, saying, "I am hoping for a verdict that will be fair to my client."

Six other unsuspecting travelers took a trip down the conveyor belt that day. None, aside from Zelnick, suffered any injuries, and "Candid Camera" broadcasted the stunt — sans Zelnick footage — as planned.

To Zelnick and his lawyer, the ill-fated gag was a classic example of reality TV gone wrong.

"This was forcing someone to do something he didn't want to do," said Jones. "It was an attempt to humiliate [Zelnick] openly, so that people could laugh at him on TV, for personal profit and gain."

Lawyers representing the show could not be reached for comment, but in a statement released on, the company had a very different take on the incident. Responding to Zelnick's complaint, the statement asserts that although a bruise was visible on the man's thigh after he emerged from the machine, "no blood whatsoever was seen by anyone at the airport."

In response to a New York Times article alleging that host Peter Funt "did not express particular sympathy" for Zelnick, the company expressed a "relative lack of sympathy for a legal action that seeks to exaggerate and alter the facts of the incident." Exaggerated or not, Zelnick's complaint against "Candid Camera" — a 54-year-old dinosaur of reality TV— is, according to its Web site, the first the show has incurred.

But Zelnick is not the first unconsenting player in a staged TV stunt, and his complaint is not unique for the genre.

In February 2003, Kara Blanc of Los Angeles filed a suit for severe emotional damage against the Sci-Fi Channel, home of the Shannen Doherty-hosted series "Scare Tactics." While Blanc was on her way to a swanky Hollywood party, the show sent an "alien" — actually an actor in a monster costume — to accost her. The creature feigned an attack on Blanc's two companions, who were in on the joke — and who were later slapped with a lawsuit as well. The intent was to scare the wits out of Blanc, and catch her fear on camera. It worked.

Jill Mouser filed suit against CBS in January 2003 after being injured in a stunt for a reality TV pilot — which never aired — entitled "Culture Shock." Held upside down in a contraption called the "harness of pain" for 40 minutes, Mouser's complaint alleged that she endured shock and long-term suffering.

And in April 2002, James and Laurie Ann Ryan sued MTV producers and actor Ashton Kutcher for a hidden-camera hoax in which a phony dead body was planted in the couple's Las Vegas hotel bathroom. The prank was intended as fodder for a Kutcher-hosted MTV series called "Harassment," which the actor once described as "guerrilla 'Candid Camera.' " It recently debuted in a celebrity-oriented incarnation as the hit "Punk'd."

As for Zelnick, his lawyer hopes that taped footage of the fateful scanner ride, in which a grumbling Zelnick passes through the X-ray machine several times, will hold enough evidence to sway Monday's courtroom. According to Jones, "the segment speaks for itself."

The Verdict
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The Verdict

Zelnick v. Candid Camera -
Candid Camera on Trial

Zelnick v. Candid Camera -
Candid Camera on Trial

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post #2 of 14
Yeah I saw that on Court TV a while ago. Do we know whatever happened to it?
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
OHH so this prank is OLD NEWS?! GEEEE I am behind on news!

The Verdict

The Los Angeles jury, comprised of five men and seven women, found "Candid Camera" and Peter Funt liable for negligence, false imprisonment and intentional misrepresentation, but cleared them of claims of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The jury awarded Zenlick a total of $300,000 in punitive damages, with Peter Funt and the show ordered to pay $150,000 each.

Unhappy with the verdict, Peter Funt and "Candid Camera" plan to seek a new trial. In a statement on, Funt is quoted as saying, "We expressed our regret over Mr. Zelnick's injury within moments of the incident and offered compensation. Clearly the jury was not impressed with claims relating to his injury... I firmly believe that this award will be dramatically reduced on appeal."
post #4 of 14
Geez! Thanks! They took it off Court Tv for a while so I never found out what happened.
post #5 of 14
I realise this is old news, but just wanted to say that I would be livid if any tv show did a 'prank' on me.
post #6 of 14
Me too!
post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by Purity
I realise this is old news, but just wanted to say that I would be livid if any tv show did a 'prank' on me.
Yeah, mebbe so, but $300,000? And the guy is disappointed???

Lordy, we're a sue-happy nation.
post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by evnshawn
Yeah, mebbe so, but $300,000? And the guy is disappointed???

Lordy, we're a sue-happy nation.
Ok, let me repharase:

I would be livid if a show did a prank on me, but it would be more than acceptable for them to give me £150,000 for the inconvieniance
post #9 of 14
I think that some of the pranks they pull get a bit carried away but, suing for distress!...come on buddy..toughen up!!
post #10 of 14
People have no sense of humor anymore. I thought it was funny.
I think the people were just mad because it made them look
Or they saw a chance to sue and an easy pay-day. That is the American
Dream, a HUGE settlement. Sad, but true.
post #11 of 14
Why is it that people seem so h appy to sue for everything? You fall in the street... you sue because the pavement was wonky, not because you werne't looking where you were going. You burn yourself making coffee... you sue because nobody stated on a packet that boiling water is actually very hot.... it's amazing! Personally I see nothing wrong with tv pranks that are in good taste. I'm a great lover of out-takes I must admit.... perhaps humiliating someone on tv isn't exactly the best way of doing thigns. Seems to me that people just don'tlike to look like the fools they are. Well I'm an idiot, and quite frankly, I don't care and I wouldn't be me otherwise! You show me up on tv like that and all you'd be getting was the real me... that's not such a bad thing Wonderful story though... I'd be happy with a pat on the back and "you're a good sport".
post #12 of 14
I don't think it's funny but I wouldn't sue
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by Miss Mew
I think that some of the pranks they pull get a bit carried away but, suing for distress!...come on buddy..toughen up!!

I agree! Where are people's sense of if that was Tom Greene.... , some of the pranks he did...yucky!
post #14 of 14
Just saw this guy on Court Tv today, via telephone conversation. What an IDIOT! Okay, you had a prank played on you...yes, you're mad, embarrassed, etc. Maybe you even have justified reason to sue. But...something about when they offered you the possibility of appearing on their show in several episodes as part of the settlement and you actually CONSIDERED it??? (sorry, don't have all the details, I was helping hubby drywall the hallway and only half paying attention) Doesn't sound like he was all that traumatized, sorry.
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