On Feb. 20, a CSX train crashed into a film production crew that was shooting on a railroad bridge crossing the Altamaha River in Wayne County. The accident killed a 27-year-old woman who worked as a camera assistant and injured six other crew members. Following the crash, the film production was suspended, and the lead actor quit the project.
The crew had begun filming “Midnight Rider,” a planned biographical film detailing the life of blues-rock frontman Gregg Allman, who was credited as an executive producer. He recently dropped a lawsuit against the film’s production company to take back his biographical filming rights. This was due to the establishment of an agreement out of court between the parties with terms on which neither side would comment publicly.
The parents of the deceased woman filed a lawsuit against multiple individuals and companies associated with the film, including its director and Gregg Allman himself. The suit alleges that the CSX did not give the film crew permission before filming began on the bridge. It also claims that a Rayonier, which owns the land in the area, employee gave the crew erroneous information regarding the trains’ schedules and that CSX did not exercise caution despite having had multiple other trains pass within sight of the filming area.
Workers involved in a film production or any other work project may expect the individuals in charge of the operation to take reasonable safety precautions. Following a workplace accident, company employees may file for workers’ compensation benefits to cover their medical expenses and at least a portion of lost wages. However, there are times in which the insurance provider will try to deny a claim by assigning fault to the injured employee. Many of these injuries must still be covered by workers’ compensation under state law.
Source: Billboard, “Gregg Allman, ‘Midnight Rider’ filmmakers sued over crew member’s death in Georgia train crash,” The Associated Press, May 21, 2014
Source: GoSanAngelo.com, “Allman drops Ga. lawsuit against film producers”, May 13, 2014
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