French prosecutors have opened a criminal manslaughter investigation into the death of French "Survivor" contestant Gerald Babin to determine if the show's producer Adventure Line Productions and host Denis Brogniart will face charges for his death.
Babin, a 25-year-old contestant on the show known as "Koh-Lanta," died of a heart attack while being airlifted to a hospital on Friday, March 22 after filming a challenge in Cambodia.
He had initially complained of fatigue and pain in his arms during a "shipwreck" challenge in which contestants had to swim from a stranded boat to shore and then engage in a tug-of-war. The show was immediately canceled by Channel TF1 for the season after Babin's death.
According to THR, prosecutors have already reviewed footage from the show and interviewed witnesses involved in the production as part of a preliminary investigation. Babin's family has filed a separate suit against ALP seeking damages based on "illegal conditions" and "breaches of health and safety."
Allegations of negligence first surfaced when the French magazine Closer reported that Babin's initial medical treatment was delayed so as not to interfere with the shooting of the challenge.
The show's doctor, Thierry Costa, committed suicide in early April. "These past days, my name has been smeared in the media," the 38-year-old Costa wrote in a suicide note. "I am certain that I treated Gerald in a respectable manner, as a patient and not as a contestant."
In response to Costa's suicide, ALP filed a defamation suit against the French magazine Closer and commented that "this tragic event should encourage those who accuse and comment indiscriminately to exercise responsibility."
The French publication Le Pointe also reported that Babin's initial toxicology report revealed the presence of anabolic steroids were in his system, although French prosecutors have denied those claims.