Back to IndieWire

‘Midnight Rider’ Case: Settlement Reached with Sarah Jones’ Family

'Midnight Rider' Case: Settlement Reached with Sarah Jones' Family

The settlement was made with the filmmakers, including director Randall Miller, producer Jody Savin and executive producer Jay Sedrish, as well as Miller and Savin’s production company, Unclaimed Freight Productions, location manager Charles Baxter, producer Don Mandrik, first assistant director Hilary Schwartz and cinematographer Mike Ozier, according to The Los Angeles Times.

READ MORE: Sarah Jones’ Death Highlights Dangers Crew Members Face on Set

The family’s attorney, Jeff Harris, issued the following statement: 

“Richard and Elizabeth Jones’ objectives in filing this lawsuit, after the death of their 27-year-old daughter Sarah, have been clear and unwavering. To find out what happened on the day of their daughter’s death, determine who was responsible, hold those who made bad decisions accountable and ensure this kind of tragedy never happens again on another film set. Today, we are another step closer to fully achieving those objectives.”

Jones was killed in a train accident on the set of the Greg Allman biopic in Savannah, Georgia on February 20. Eight other crew members were injured.

Jones’ death has drawn renewed attention to the occasionally dangerous role of the crew — and the risks filmmakers are often willing to take in order to get the shot they want.

CSX Transportation, which owns the train tracks on which Jones was killed, has said that the production didn’t have permission to be on the tracks. They remain a defendant in the lawsuit, along with Meddin Studios and executive producer Jeffrey Gant.

In a statement on behalf of himself and his wife Elizabeth, Richard Jones, Sarah Jones’ father, said: “Elizabeth and I are dedicated to ensuring that our daughter’s death is not in vain, and through our work with the Sarah Jones Film Foundation we continue to advocate for safer film sets — keeping safety always at the forefront, never again an afterthought. Safety for Sarah.”

In May, the Jones family filed suit against 18 defendants. Last month, they announced that three defendants, including Gregg Allman, Allman’s manager Michael Lehman and the film’s distributor, Open Road Films, were being dropped from the case.

In August, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the production company behind “Midnight Rider” for safety violations, with proposed penalties totaling $74,900, a meager amount considering the loss of life involved.

READ MORE: Nobody Should Die While Making a Movie

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox