Fatal Helicopter Crash Sparks Lawsuit

On May 29, the mother of a man who was killed when a helicopter crashed during filming of a reality television show filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming that the chopper was operated negligently. Darren Rystrom, whose mother Jerie filed the suit, was one of three people killed in the Feb. 10 crash to the northeast of Los Angeles County.

The accident took place while the men were filming a scene for a military-themed show being produced for Discovery Channel; defendants in the suit are the company responsible for the helicopter lease as well as the show’s producers.

The suit says, “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 victim’s mother seeks damages for loss of companionship, earnings, and for the pain and suffering caused by her son’s death, as well as any pain and mental anguish that he may have suffered during the crash.

An initial report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that the helicopter was being used for scenes in which an actor dropped a backpack to the ground from out of the hovering helicopter.

At the time of the crash, official filming was not taking place on the ground, but there was a camera onboard the vessel as well as a camera filming an actor in the left front seat. Those recording devices are now with the NTSB.

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