The mother of Darren Rystrom of California filed a wrongful death lawsuit after her son tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash during the filming of a reality show on February 10. The lawsuit claims that, “that the aircraft’s operators and producers negligently operated the helicopter.” (Washington Post) The men were filming a scene for a military-inspired show for the Discovery Channel. The name of the show has not been released. The defendants of the case are Van Nuys Copters and Orbid Ari – the companies responsible for the flight; the estate of David Gibbs and television producers J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson.
According to the Washington Post, the suit states:
Defendants negligently failed to insure that the Bell 206B helicopter was functionally equipped and capable of operating over such terrain at night under visual meteorological conditions and failed to ensure that it was serviceable for the intended flight.
The report for the National Transportation and Safety Board says helicopter was being used for a reality show scene in which an actor dropped a backpack to the ground from a hovering aircraft. The production crew was not filming at the time of the incident, but there was a camera running on flight. According to the Washington Post, “The recording devices were sent to NTSB headquarters for examination.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for loss of companionship, earnings, and for the pain and suffering caused by Darren Rystrom’s death and any pain and mental anguish that he suffered during the crash. (The Washington Post)