Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gregg Allman biopic producers face wrongful death lawsuit

The producers of the Gregg Allman biopic, “Midnight Rider”, are now facing a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of Sarah Jones, a second camera assistant who was killed during an on-set accident on the first day of filming in February.

The Los Angeles Times reports the lawsuit, filed in Chatham County State Court in Georgia on Wednesday, sees Richard and Elizabeth Jones allege that producers Randall Miller (also the film's director) and his wife, Jody Savin, and other parties negligently caused their daughter's death.

Jones was killed and six crew members were injured on February 20 when a freight train crashed into the crew as they were filming a scene on a historic train trestle in Doctortown, Georgia. Jones was struck by the train and debris from a bed that had been placed on the track for a dream sequence involving actor William Hurt.

The suit names Miller and Savin’s production company Unclaimed Freight Productions, its local production partner Meddin Studios, CSX Transportation, and Open Road Films, the company owned by theater chains Regal and AMC that had planned to distribute the film. Other defendants include Jay Sedrish, the unit production manager; Hillary Schwartz, the first assistant director; and Allman, who served as an executive producer on the film.

The suit, which cites unspecified punitive damages, cites a litany of alleged safety violations that led to Jones' death. Among them, that the producers did not have permission from CSX to film on the railway itself and misled the crew about that fact. The suit also says producers did not take standard safety precautions, including failing to host a safety meeting prior to filming, not having an on-site medic, not having a railway representative on site.

Read more details about the lawsuit at the Los Angeles Times here.

Production on the film was shut down following the tragic incident, and has yet to resume.

Based on Gregg Allman’s 2012 biography “My Cross To Bear”, “Midnight Rider” tells the story of Gregg's journey from struggling artist through the formation and subsequent success of The Allman Brothers Band, which saw the musician succumb to the excesses of rock 'n' roll.

Lead actor William Hurt – who was to play the present day version of the rock legend – recently backed out of the project. The film was also scheduled to star Tyson Ritter - the lead singer/songwriter of the All American Rejects – as a young Gregg Allman, and Wyatt Russell as his brother Duane.

See also:

Gregg Allman drops lawsuit against Midnight Rider biopic producers
Gregg Allman files lawsuit against Midnight Rider biopic producers
Gregg Allman urges director to shut down Midnight Rider biopic
William Hurt quits Gregg Allman biopic
Search The Allman Brothers at hennemusic