August 29, 2013 9:08pm PT by Aaron Couch
Reality TV Helicopter Crash Prompts Another Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The wife and children of a man killed in a helicopter crash while shooting a reality show for Discovery have filed a wrongful death suit in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Michael Donatelli was killed Feb. 10 during a night shoot for a military-themed show, along with cameraman Darren Rydstrom and the helicopter's pilot, David Gibbs.
According to the suit, the helicopter took flight at approximately 3:30 a.m. and flew over hilly terrain at low altitudes and at approximately 60 miles per hour.
The suit names Discovery, the show's producers, and Crossbow, the company that owned the helicopter, as defendants. It alleges Gibbs was an "incompetent" pilot -- who acted negligently and failed to maintain proper, safe control of the helicopter -- and the defendants should have known this was the case. Gibbs' estate is also named as a defendant.
The plaintiffs are seeking punitive damages for loss of financial and emotional support from the deceased.
In May, the mother of cameraman Darren Rydstrom filed a wrongful death suit in the crash.
Discovery declined to comment.