Man Blames Discovery Show for Wife’s Death

     DENVER (CN) – Discovery Channel killed the wife of a “reality” TV star with botched explosions on the firing range of their gun store during the show’s opening sequence, the man claims in court.
     Melvin Bernstein sued Discovery Communications and Anthropic Productions in Federal Court, for the death of his wife Terry Flanell. Their daughter, Melanie Flanell-Bernstein, also is a plaintiff.
     Discovery planned to make the couple the subjects of a reality series called “Brothers in Arms,” depicting their life as owners and operators of Dragon Man, a gun store and firing range in Colorado Springs. The gun store advertises itself on its Internet home page as “the most exciting place in Colorado.”
     “(T)he filming of the entire pilot took place at this location,” the complaint states.
     “On or about June 14, 2012, Discovery and Anthropic were filming the opening sequence for the ‘Brothers in Arms’ pilot,” the Bernsteins say in the complaint.
     “For the opening sequence, Discovery and Anthropic planned to have five of the Dragon Man personnel, including both plaintiffs, walk through a cloud of smoke carrying weapons.
     “To produce the smoke for the opening sequence, 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.
     “Neither Discovery nor Anthropic had sought or obtained any permit from the proper governmental authority authorizing the use of pyrotechnic devices during the production of the ‘Brother in Arms’ pilot.
     “Neither Discovery nor Anthropic had retained the services of a licensed pyrotechnics operator for the production of the ‘Brother in Arms’ pilot, and no licensed pyrotechnics operator was on-scene for the filming of the opening sequence on June 14, 2012.
     “During the filming of the opening sequence on June 14, 2012, the pyrotechnic devices malfunctioned when the on-scene producer ignited them.
     “When the pyrotechnic devices malfunctioned, they shot like missiles toward the five Dragon Man personnel, and one of the devices struck Terry Flanell, killing her instantly.’
     Bernstein told the Colorado Springs Gazette that his wife was killed by smoke bombs.
     The pipe bombs “went right through her body, she didn’t suffer or nothing. She just dropped,” Bernstein told the Gazette the day after the accident.
     “Brothers in Arms” never aired on the Discovery Channel.
     The Dragonmans website, checked this morning, features a tribute to “Terrible Terry,” and information on the shooting range, paintball park, gun store and museum.
     “Our next Machine Gun Shoot will be September 14th, and 15th 2013!!” the home page states. “Dragon Man will be renting out over 200 machine guns to the public!! It is very safe and gives the average person a chance to shoot one of these awesome weapons! It is very organized and we will have over 20 instructors on site both days! No reservations necessary! This will be the 20th annual Machine Gun Shoot at Dragon Mans … so don’t miss out!!”
     The firing range is open to shooters 9 and older. Minors must be with an adult.
     Bernstein and his daughter seek damages for wrongful death, negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
     They are represented by Thomas Tasker with Hillyard, Wahlberg, Kudla, Sloane & Woodruff in Denver.

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