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Discovery Channel Sued For Wrongful Death in Reality TV Pilot Stunt 

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Old 06-18-2013, 05:33 PM
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Discovery Channel Sued For Wrongful Death in Reality TV Pilot Stunt


Friday June 14, 2013 @ 8:51am PDT

A pyrotechnics stunt gone fatally wrong last year during production on a Discovery Channel pilot has resulted in a wrongful death suit filed this week.

“As a direct result of Discovery’s negligence and negligence in using, or authorizing the use of, pyrotechnic devices during the production of the, “Brothers in Arms,” pilot, Terry Flannel was killed,” says a complaint, (read it here), http://www-deadline-com.vimg.net/wp-...614154150.pdf, filed yesterday in Colorado federal court by Flannel’s family against Discovery Communications.

The six-claim complaint seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages in excess of $75,000 for the incident on June 14, 2012 during the filming of what was to be the opening sequence of the WWI-themed show.

“Anthropic’s negligence and negligence per sein using pyrotechnic devices during the production of the, “Brothers in Arms,” pilot created an unreasonable risk of physical harm to Plaintiff Mel Bernstein, who was directly in the line of fire of the airborne pyrotechnic devices,” the compliant reads in reference to fellow defendant Anthropic Productions.

The explosion occurred at a shooting range owned by Flannel and her husband Bernstein. Their daughter is named as a plaintiff in the case along with Bernstein. Plaintiffs are represented by Thomas Tasker of Denver firm Hillyard, Wahlberg, Kudla, Sloane & Woodruff.

**Not the First Suit This Year**

TV Helicopter Crash Prompts Wrongful Death Lawsuit

May 29, 2013, 5:22 PM PDT
by Alex Ben Block

The mother of the cameraman killed February 10 in a helicopter crash during a night shoot for a military-themed Discovery Channel reality TV series filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, charging wrongful death and property damage.

California State Senator Wants Reality TV Safety Probe in Wake of Helicopter Crash

Three Dead in Discovery Reality Show Helicopter Crash

Darren Rydstrom was killed when a Bell helicopter crashed in a rugged canyon north of Los Angeles.

The helicopter's pilot, David Gibbs, and castmember Michael Donatelli also were killed.

Rydstrom’s mother, Jerie S. Rydstrom, filed suit against Van Nuys Helicopters and two men identified as the company principals, David Child and Cherif Amin. The suit also names as defendants Orbic Air, which it says is owned by David Child; Crossbow Helicopters and its owner David G. Gibbs, pilot of the doomed craft; and the producers of the show, J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson.

Read the complaint here, http://www.scribd.com/doc/147812960/Discovery

The suit says Gibbs was flying the Bell 206B helicopter under, “visual flight rules,” and had a duty to, “look and avoid,” a collision with the terrain.

The suit says the producers, “breached their duty,” when they entrusted the helicopter to Gibbs and Crossbow Helicopters, adding the, “defendants negligently failed to ensure that David G. Gibbs was competent, qualified and sufficiently informed for the flight.”

PHOTOS: The Dark Side of Reality TV: 25 Tragic Deaths http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gal...y-tv-25-432060

The suit adds that Rydstrom, “suffered devastating injuries,” and, “perished as a direct and proximate result of the injuries sustained in the collision and impact with the ground.”

The suit says damages will be determined by the court, but should include pain and suffering, loss of support, funeral expenses and cost of the suit and more.

Photo 1 - Flannel
Photo 2 - Discovery Building
Photo 3 - Rydstorm Crash Site

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