7:09pm PT by Alex Ben Block
Crewmember Sues Discovery Network Over Reality Show Accident
A Hollywood sound technician sued Discovery Channel on Friday claiming he was seriously injured during the production of a reality TV show.
Kenneth Hathcock, who is listed on IMDB as a sound mixer and technician on shows such as Joe Millionaire, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Discovery and Jimmy Blaze Entertainment. His filing in L.A. Superior Court says that on March 24, he was riding in an all-terrain vehicle at Safari Ranch in Oklahoma during a video shoot when the vehicle suddenly drove into a ditch concealed by tall grass. Hathcock says he was “ejected” from the vehicle and “seriously injured.”
The suit alleges that Discovery, Blaze and others involved acted both “negligently" and "carelessly," and that they "recklessly operated, maintained, repaired, owned, supervised and controlled” the vehicle so as to “cause the accident.”
The suit goes on to say Hathcock sustained shock and injuries, which have caused him mental and physical pain and suffering. The suit says his medical bills have topped $25,000. The filing does not include the name of the show Hathcock says he was working on at the time.
Discovery Network, which hires producers to make its reality shows, has recently been involved in several incidents resulting in injuries or death for individuals working on its shows.
In June 2012, two people being filmed for a proposed Discovery series in Colorado were injured when a smoke bomb detonated and sent metal into the air. A woman was killed.
In February, filmmaker John Driftmier and a pilot filming footage for the Discovery series Dangerous Flights were killed when their small plane crashed. Earlier that month, three men died in a helicopter crash in northern Los Angeles County, where they had been involved in the production of a new military-themed reality series.
There was no immediate response to requests for comment sent to Jimmy Blaze Entertainment or Hathcock's legal representation. A spokesperson for Discovery said they would have no comment.