The lawsuits are piling up following the February 20 train accident that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones on the Georgia set of Midnight Rider. Makeup artist Antonyia Verna and her husband Richard Brewer filed a suit June 12 in Chatham County seeking damages against the film’s producers and additional parties, naming 16 defendants as responsible in the tragedy that left Verna injured alongside Jones and five other crew members. Verna is suing over damages she suffered in the accident, including physical injuries, medical expenses, post-traumatic stress, and pain and suffering.
The lawsuit is the latest in a mounting legal skirmish over the incident that occurred during filming on the Gregg Allman biopic helmed by Randall Miller. He and producer Jody Savin, their Unclaimed Freight production banner, location scout Charley Baxter, exec producers Nick Gant, Michael Lehman, Don Mandrik, and Jay Sedrish, 1st AD Hillary Schwartz, Gant’s Meddin Studios, property owner Rayonier, railroad company CSX Transportation, and distributor Open Road Films are named in the new suit. The defendants also were named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Jones last month seeking unspecified damages “for the full value of Sarah’s life.”
Following that filing both Allman and Open Road sought to publicly distance themselves from the lawsuit, with the distributor releasing a statement denying responsibility for the train accident: “Open Road was not involved in the production in any way at any time, and we have been named in this suit without justification.” Allman himself sued Miller in April to stop the film from going forward again, citing allegedly missed payments and scheduled production dates. That case was settled under undisclosed terms last month. Hairstylist Joyce Gilliard is also suing over permanent injuries and post-traumatic stress sustained in the accident.
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