Kate Middleton Radio Prank Leads to Nurse's Apparent Suicide

By Andrew Lu on December 07, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The nurse involved in a radio station's Kate MIddleton prank call has apparently died in a suspected suicide.

Jacintha Saldanha was found dead this morning near the UK hospital where Middleton was being treated for severe morning sickness, reports USA Today. Middleton was released from the hospital Thursday.

A day earlier, Saldanha was the nurse on duty who answered a prank call by two Australian DJs. As a result of the prank, some medical information regarding the princess' pregnancy was disclosed to the public.

So far, authorities only suspect that the death was a suicide and police are calling the death "unexplained" pending an investigation, USA Today reports.

On Wednesday, Australian radio DJs Michael Christian and Mel Grieg had called the hospital pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. The pranksters reportedly convinced Saldanha to comment about Middleton's condition, which was a violation of the princess' patient confidentiality.

The two DJs then took to Twitter to brag about their prank, but have since deleted their Twitter accounts in the wake of the nurse's death, reports USA Today.

While the hoax may have occurred thousands of miles away, some may be wondering what legal liability the radio DJs may face. After all, radio personalities and teenagers commit similar pranks every day here in the States (see swatting and prank calls).

If Saldanha's family members were to sue for wrongful death, their chances to recover against the DJs may be very difficult, at least under most U.S. negligence laws. That's because the family would need to prove that the DJs' prank actually caused the nurse's death and that the death was a foreseeable result of the prank call.

That may be hard to prove, as the suicide may have been related to some other incidents going on in the nurse's life. Additionally, despite the cruelness of the prank, it may be very difficult to prove that a suicide was reasonably foreseeable from a prank call.

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