Family Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Man Dies From Helicopter Crash.

Tragically, wrongful deaths occur too often and under a variety of circumstances. A wrongful death may result from wrongdoing or negligence which so seriously injures a victim as to cause his or her death. While nothing can make up for the pain that families experience after the loss of a loved one, legal remedies do exist to protect the rights and financial security of these individuals. Family members may be entitled to monetary compensation for the losses they incur as a result of the death of their loved one. In such a scenario, the expertise of a skilled Massachusetts wrongful death attorney is a necessity.

In 2013, Michael Donatelli was working as a cast member, consultant and narrator of the Discovery Channel military show “Lone Operator.” As a decorated Iraqi war veteran, Donatelli then went on to build his own security consulting firm. While on set, a helicopter that was also part of the production was flying too close to the ground when it hit a slope and killed Donatelli, a cameraman, and the pilot, David Gibbs.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Donatelli’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the producers of the show, including Discovery and other companies. The lawsuit was recently settled; however, the terms are confidential. The Donatelli family alleged that the defendants were negligent in hiring Gibbs, the pilot of the helicopter. Furthermore, the family alleged that the defendants did not take proper safety measures in securing the area where filming occured. In the discovery phase, records were produced which showed Gibbs did not have permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the helicopter in the early morning hours. Moreover, Gibbs had his pilot’s license suspended twice. He was even involved in an incident where he flew a helicopter into a power line while another show was filming. The accident that killed Donatelli was the worst film accident in Los Angeles County since 1982, when a crash occurred on the set of “Twilight Zone: The Movie,” killing an actor and his two children. Attorney Kevin Boyle represented the Donatelli family in this case.

When a loved one has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is critical to choose a qualified and experienced Boston, Massachusetts wrongful death lawyer. Call us today at 617-787-3700 or email us at

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