“Wipeout” reality show contestant dies from stroke

Legal news for California entertainment attorneys. A reality TV show contestant died from a stroke after participating in the show.

California entertainment lawyers- A reality show contestant died from a stroke at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Los Angeles, CA—A recent USC graduate and newlywed passed away after competing on ABC’s reality show “Wipeout.” The contestant died of a stroke on November 5, 2009 after undergoing several brain surgeries at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Tom Sparks, and his new wife Katie, were competing together on the reality TV game show, “Wipeout,” when Sparks began to complain of knee pain and shortness of breath while competing. “Wipeout” is a game show aired in America, in which contestants compete in what has been called the “world’s largest obstacle course,” according to Wikipedia. Sparks was transported by emergency medical services (EMS) teams to a local hospital, and then was later transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for further treatment. After numerous brain surgeries, Sparks suffered a stroke and passed away. His official cause of death has not been determined due to additional medical test results. Medical professionals believe Sparks’ stroke was probably caused by a pre-existing medical condition called antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, which causes abnormal blood clotting. Endemol USA, the company that produces ABC’s “Wipeout,” requires all contestants to undergo a physical exam and sign a release before participating in the show. His application did not state any pre-existing medical conditions, and even revealed he had recently completed the Long Beach Marathon. The investigation is ongoing.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California entertainment lawyers.