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Viacom and Others Working on David Spade’s Show, ‘Lights Out’ Sued in Wrongful Death Suit

— September 16, 2019

Viacom and others are at the center of a wrongful death suit after an accountant working on David Spade’s show, ‘Lights Out,’ drove while intoxicated and hit and killed 24-year-old Noah Benardout.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed earlier this week against the producers of David Spade’s new show, ‘Lights Out.’ The suit alleges the producers allowed an accountant working for the show to get behind the wheel of an Acura while drunk. While driving the vehicle, the accountant, Jacob Gralitzer crashed in Los Angeles’ Fairfax District. The impact of the crash sent the vehicle onto a sidewalk where it slammed into Noah Benardout. Benardout eventually died from the injuries he sustained, which included “major blunt force trauma to his head.” He was only 24-years-old.

David Spade
David Spade; image courtesy of dodge challenger1 via Wikimedia Commons,

As a result of the tragic incident, Gralitzer was “charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and driving while under the influence.” Despite the charges, Benardout’s parents, Marie and Marc Benardout, argue the accident and their son’s untimely death was totally avoidable. Their suit claims Viacom, the company that owns Comedy Central, the network that airs ‘Light’s Out,’ allowed Gralitzer to get “intoxicated before leaving the premiere party for Spade’s new show.” In addition to naming Viacom as a defendant, the suit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, also named Free 90 and DOES 1-10.

Why do Benardout’s parents believe Viacom and the other defendants are to blame, though? Well, according to the suit they believe the media company is to “blame because it provided a valet service, encouraging employees to drive to and from the shindig.” Additionally, the parents claim “they know of at least one person at the party who told Gralitzer he shouldn’t drive home because he was so drunk.” The three-claim suit states:

“Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that Defendant Viacom and Free 90 and DOES 1-10 permitted Defendant Gralitzer to get even more intoxicated before leaving the premises…Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that this intoxication occurred during the scope of Gralitzer’s employment with Defendant Viacom and Free 90 and DOES 1-10…Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege Defendants Viacom, Free 90, and DOES 1-10 condoned Gralitzer getting severely intoxicated at the Lights Out party. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege Defendants Viacom Free 90, and DOES 1-10 knew that Gralitzer was going to drive his car home from the party but did nothing to stop it.” 

Since the incident, Gralitzer has moved on from Spade’s show and now faces anywhere between four and 10 years in jail. Additionally, if he is convicted he may be hit with a $10,000 fine.


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