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Two men who had the logo of a Davenport, Iowa, radio station tattooed on their foreheads were sorely disappointed to discover that they would not be paid $150,000 each, as allegedly promised by a disc jockey — sorely enough to sue. KORB-FM listener David J. Winkleman of Davenport alleges that he heard disc jockey Ben Stone announce on the air on Nov. 29, 2000, that anyone who got a temporary “93 Rock” tattoo on his or her forehead would get concert tickets, backstage passes and a television satellite dish. Goddard v. Cumulus Broadcasting Inc., No. 98401 (Scott Co., Iowa, Dist. Ct.). Stone then said that anyone who made the tattoo permanent would receive $30,000 a year for five years, according to the suit, filed against Stone and the station’s owner, Cumulus Broadcasting Inc. The complaint says that Winkleman immediately told Richard C. Goddard Jr. of Rock Island, Ill., about the announcement. The two men say they called the station to confirm that the offer was legitimate. Later that day, the complaint alleges, the men went to the station, and Stone sent them to a tattoo parlor called Scorpion’s Den, where a man identified himself as head of KORB-FM and paid for the tattoos. But the station never paid Winkleman or Goddard, who claim they have been unable to obtain employment since getting the tattoos. In their negligence claim against Stone, they allege that he “made the false promise as a practical joke, so that persons who responded to the announcement with the intention of receiving tattoos could be publicly scorned and ridiculed for their greed and lack of common good sense.” In its answer, Cumulus denied the allegations, including the claim that its employees had put photographs of the plaintiffs on its Web site. A telephone operator at the station said Stone, who is also known as Benjamin Stomberg, was not employed there any more. Citing Iowa District Judge David E. Schoenthaler’s supervisory order prohibiting pretrial publicity, defense lawyer Craig A. Levien of Davenport’s Betty, Neuman & McMahon declined to comment. Schoenthaler said he imposed the gag order because “all the parties wanted it.” Alicia D. Gieck of Rock Island, Ill.’s Nelson, Keys & Keys represents the plaintiffs. She said the defendants requested the order, but the parties worked on the wording together, to protect the jury pool in the small community without being too restrictive. She added, “My clients were being made fun of in the media, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to stop it.”

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