This is a follow up to the blog that I posted on May 23, 2014 about the young Ms. Sarah Jones who was killed on the film set of Gregg Allman’s movie, “Midnight Rider”, in which I discuss the Wrongful Death Case brought by the parents of Ms. Jones who died while on the set filming the movie on an historic train trestle in Georgia.
The list of Defendants in the lawsuit include the production company among several other Defendants including Gregg Allman himself, who was serving as an Executive Producer on the film. Our sympathies continue to pour out to the family who have lost a dear loved one in such a tragic manner.
The case sites a number of safety violations that led to Ms. Jones’ death including, but not limited to, the crew being mislead that the producers had permission from CSX to film on the railway, when it allegedly did not, and that several standard safety precautions were never taken on the set as well.
It is duly noted, however, that Jones, was not a veteran to the film industry as she began her film career as an intern on the TV series “Army Wives.” Given that Jones did have experience in the film industry, I think it will be interesting to follow this case to see if any of the Defendants raise the defense of Comparative Negligence, which I have discussed in detail in my May 24, 2014 blog.
Comparative Negligence is a defense in tort actions where the Plaintiff’s damages are reduced by an amount determined by the percentage, if any, that the Judge or Jury may find the Plaintiff had as a part, or percentage, of the negligence that caused the Plaintiff’s injuries or, in this case, death to Ms. Jones, that could be attributed to Ms. Jones herself for her involvement in being on a film set that was alleged to be inherently dangerous.
Furthermore, will any of the Defendants raise the defense of Assumption of the Risk arguing that Ms. Jones Assumed the Risk by being on the dangerous set. Assumption of the Risk in Georgia is an affirmative defense that bars the Plaintiff from recovering on a negligence claim if it is established that the Plaintiff, “Without coercion of circumstances, chooses a course of action with full knowledge of its danger and while exercising a free choice as to whether to engage in the act or not; a defendant asserting an assumption of the risk defense must establish that the plaintiff: (1) had actual knowledge of the danger; (2) understood and appreciated the risks associated with such danger; and (3) voluntarily exposed oneself to those risks. ” Sones v. Real Estate Dev. Group, Inc., 270 Ga. App. 507, 606 S.E.2d 687 (2004).
Any of the Defendants in this action could raise the defense of Assumption of the Risk. If it is true, however, that the crew members, including Ms. Jones, were mislead that the producers did have permission from CSX to film on the roadway, then it would be difficult to show that Ms. Jones assumed the risk of being on this dangerous film set if the Plaintiff can prove that Ms. Jones did not have actual knowledge of the danger by being mislead that the producers had permission to film on said railway.
It has been noted that Jones’ death has galvanized the industry, and has prompted nationwide calls for safety on film sets.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts in cases of Wrongful Death and injuries caused by the negligent acts of others, and we are here to make sure that you receive the just compensation that you deserve if you or a loved one are injured or killed by the negligent acts of another, and that your compensation won’t be reduced, or barred, by defenses such as Comparative Negligence or Assumption of the Risk, so Contact Us today for your free legal consultation if you or a loved one has been killed or injured by the negligent acts of another, or others.
We are here to zealously represent you in tort actions that are caused by the negligent acts of another, or others, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.