Tom McKay today started a legal feud with the Hatfields & McCoys. In a suit (read it here) filed Friday in LA Superior Court alleging reckless misconduct and breach of contract, McKay is going after the producers of the hit 2012 History Channel miniseries and their insurance companies for injuries he suffered after being thrown from a horse on set. The incident occurred on November 11, 2011, “when the subject horse became uncontrollable again during filming of a scene, bolted, and subsequently threw Plaintiff into a tree, resulting in serious and permanent injuries and harm to Plaintiff.” The seasoned actor is seeking unspecified damages for suffering and anguish, medical costs, and loss of earnings and earnings capacity. He wants to make an additional monetary point too. “The reckless, careless, callous, and oppressive acts of defendants, and each of them, as set forth herein-above, are sufficient to warrant the imposition of punitive and exemplary damages against said defendants in an amount sufficient to punish and make an example of them. The exact amount of such damages are presently unknown to Plaintiff, but will be subject to proof at trial,” reads the 38-page, 8-claim complaint. McKay is also seeking interest, legal costs and a declaration from the court that OneBeacon America Insurance Company and Ace USA are liable under the insurance policy the production had with them for all benefits due to him and for all and any damages claimed by him.
McKay, whose recent credits include the Starz/BBC series The White Queen, played Jim McCoy on the miniseries that ran over three nights at the end of May 2012. Hatfields & McCoys star and producer Kevin Costner is not named as a defendant nor mentioned in the suit, but several others high up in the production are including director Kevin Reynolds and executive producer Leslie Grief. The defendants formally named are Hatfields & McCoys Productions, ThinkFactory Media, OneBeacon and Ace USA.
In the detailed filing, McKay claims unsafe conditions on the Romanian set, as well as knowing of violent mistreatment of the horses used by the production by improperly trained handlers. He also alleges “Defendants, by and through their authorized managing agents, including Leslie Grief, Kevin Reynolds, Chris Landry, and Razvan Piu, and other of defendant’s managing officers/agents, intentionally misrepresented to Plaintiff that their horses were safe, well behaved, and were suitable for riding by Plaintiff.” Additionally, the suit centers on the sudden halt this summer of insurance payments for his medical expenses, a move McKay says is partially the result of misrepresentation by the producers. Expect the production companies to try to throw it all on the insurance companies — also expect this to drag way longer than the war between the two clans ever did.
Sean Novak of Beverly Hills’ The Novak Law Firm is repping McKay.