Discovery sued over reality TV death

Discovery and the production company Anthropic Productions are being sued by the family of a woman killed in June 2012, when a pyrotechnic device malfunctioned during the filming of a reality TV pilot for the network.

According to a complaint obtained by The Hollywood Reporter‘s Hollywood, Esq., the opening sequence for the Brothers in Arms pilot was to feature five people — including plaintiff Mel Bernstein and his late spouse, Terry Flanell, who were the owners of the Colorado filming location — walking through a cloud of smoke carrying weapons. “To produce the smoke for the opening sequence,” the document says, “Discovery and Anthropic utilized two pyrotechnic devices that Discovery and Anthropic knew had not been manufactured by a licensed and experienced manufacturer of pyrotechnic devices.”

The suit also claims neither the network nor production company obtained the proper government permit authorizing use of pyrotechnic devices or had a licensed pyrotechnics operator on set. Mel Bernstein is suing for wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress, while the couple’s daughter, Melanie Flanell-Bernstein, also filed suit for the latter.

Discovery had no comment.

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