Watching contestants eat dead rats on NBC's gross-out stunt show "Fear Factor" so disgusted a Cleveland man that he has sued NBC for $2.5 million, saying he could not stomach what he saw.
In a handwritten four-page lawsuit filed in federal court in Cleveland on Tuesday, paralegal Austin Aitken said, "To have the individuals on the show eat (yes) and drink dead rats was crazy and from a viewer's point of view made me throw-up as well an another in the house at the same time."
His suit added, "NBC is sending the wrong message to its TV watchers that cash can make or have people do just about anything beyond reasoning (sic) and in most cases against their will."
He said the show caused his blood pressure to rise so high that he became dizzy and light-headed, and when he ran away to his room, he bumped his head into the doorway.
In a brief telephone interview with Reuters, Aitken said, "I am not at liberty to discuss the complaint unless it is a paid-interview situation."
A spokesman for "Fear Factor" said the show would have no comment until it sees a copy of the complaint. The spokesman said the program did feature a rat-eating scene in New York's Times Square on Nov. 8.
Over the years, contestants on the program have eaten some weird things, including ground-up spiders and live worms.