The Hiker Who Fell Victim To The Disastrous Spinning Helicopter Rescue That Became The Most Viral Video Of 2019 Is Suing For Millions 

MARKIIAN LYSEIKO / Barcroft Media via Getty Images


Can you believe we are six months (3 billion internet years) removed from the runaway favorite for the Funniest Video of 2019?

It’s a damn crying shame that the world took so much joy in the disastrous rescue effort of a 74-year-old hiker who needed to be airlifted by a helicopter in Arizona on a stretcher after taking a digger on a trail, but if this video doesn’t ignite morbid laughter inside you, we probably wouldn’t sit at the same lunch table.

Katalin Metro was hiking off Piestewa Peak near Phoenix on June 4 when she tripped and became disoriented, requiring firefighters to wrap her like a mummy and strap her in what is known as a “stokes basket.”

Metro spun at dizzying speeds for upwards of one minute a hundred feet in the air caused by the basket interacting with with the rotor wash of the helicopter. She spun over 150 times.

Now, Metro is seeking retribution for the incident and the subsequent online embarrassment it brought with it (the video was viewed tens of millions of times).

According to the notice of claim filed Tuesday that was obtained by the New York Post, Metro had told rescuers that she did not want to be airlifted and that she suffered physical, emotional and psychological injuries as a result of the spin cycle.

A doctor at John C. Lincoln Medical Center said Metro had swelling and bruising in the eyes, blood in her auditory canals and soft tissue swelling in parts of the head, according to the claim.

Metro also required surgery for a spinal cord injury, the report said.

Metro spent two weeks in the hospital, despite fire department Capt. Bobby Dubnow saying in June that she “suffered no ill effect from that spin other than being a little bit dizzy.”

With outpatient therapy included, Metro’s medical costs between June and July ballooned to over $290,000.

“Katalin Metro’s injuries were caused or contributed to by the negligence, negligence per se, gross negligence, carelessness and/or other fault on the part of the City of Phoenix,” the claim said.

Metro is willing to settle the claim for $2 million.

No word on whether she’ll get compensated for any of the online abuse.

[h/t New York Post]

Matt Keohan Avatar
Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.