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New Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed From Reality TV Helo Accident

Spouse And Children Of Cast Member Seek Unspecified Damages

The fatal helicopter accident during the filming of a reality television show in California in February is the basis for a lawsuit filed in LA Superior Court late Thursday on behalf of the widow and children of Dominic Donatelli ... one of the cast members of the show.

The complaint names Discovery Communications, producers Eyeworks USA, Bongo Inc, Van Nuys Copters, Crossbow Helicopters and Orbic Air and others. The accident fatally injured Donatelli, as well as the pilot of the aircraft and a cameraman.

In court documents, the plaintiffs say through their attorney that the defendants "have an extensive history of knowingly failing to provide adequate safety measures for the filming of reality series such as this one.” The filing says the plaintiffs "cut corners" at the expense of safety when filming such programs.

The complaint also faults Discovery and the production company for hiring pilot David Gibbs knowing he had a "spotty" safety record. Gibbs had had his flying privileges revoked in the past. The suit also claims that Gibbs and Crossbow Helicopters were "unfit to operate the helicopter" in the conditions that existed at the time of the accident.

Deadline Hollywood reports that the suit seeks "unspecified damages" for the wrongful death of the actor and the loss of financial support and earnings, as well as punitive damages. 

FMI: www.lasuperiorcourt.org

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