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'Midnight Rider' Wrongful Death Case in the Works After On-Set Death of Sarah Jones

Photo of Paula Bernstein By Paula Bernstein | Indiewire May 21, 2014 at 6:24PM

The family of Sarah Jones, who lost her life while working as a camera assistant on the set of the film "Midnight Rider" in February, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the film's director, producers and others involved with the production.
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Sarah Jones 'Midnight Rider"
Sarah Jones

The family of Sarah Jones, who lost her life in February while working as a camera assistant on the set of the film "Midnight Rider," has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the film's director, Randall Miller, Gregg Allman, producers, some crew members, Open Road Films (the film's distributor), and the company that owns the railroad tracks where the accident occurred, Variety reports.

The suit, which was filed this afternoon by Jones' parents and her estate, asks for unspecified damages for Jones' death and pain and suffering, in addition to punitive damages.

One of the key elements of the suit is the allegation that the director and the defendants didn't obtain permission for the production to be on the railroad bridge where the fatal accident occurred.

"In fact, the ‘Midnight Rider’ Defendants falsely informed, or gave the impression to, the cast and crew, including Sarah, that they had received permission to conduct filming on the railroad tracks, so the crew believed they had permission to be there," reads the complaint, obtained by Variety.

The complaint also alleges that the defendants didn't take proper safety precautions and didn't have an on-set medic present.

Jones' death in February served as a lightning rod for the industry, which used the tragedy to draw attention to the occasionally dangerous role of the crew -- and the risks filmmakers are often willing to go to in order to get the shot. 

Star William Hurt dropped out of the production last month and more recently, Gregg Allman, the musician on whose memoirs the film is based, threatened to sue the producers to stop production from resuming, but dropped the case.

Jones, 27, was killed and six other crew members were injured on February 27 during a scene being shot on a train trestle in Georgia. She was working as part of a 20-person crew from Savannah, GA-based Meddin Studios. 

This article is related to: Midnight Rider, Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story, Gregg Allman, Gregg Allman, Sarah Jones, lawsuit, William Hurt