Michaels alleges that she suffered a “serious fracture dislocation to her left ankle” while filming the climatic Battle of Winterfell scene during the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” in February 2018. Variety reported that the court documents list the legal claim as being worth almost $5 million in damages.
Michaels, along with a group of 28 stunt performers dressed as Wights, aka zombies controlled by White Walkers, were allegedly instructed by production to walk off a 12-foot high roof “as if unaware of the drop, in keeping with the zombie-like nature of the Wights” during Episode 3. The lawsuit lists that groups of stunt performers fell onto a box rig comprised of cardboard boxes and mats.
“By their nature, however, the cardboard boxes are not durable and become damaged as each stunt performer lands on the box rig and also as each stunt performer climbs off of the box rig after landing,” the claim alleges. Michaels was the last performer to step off the roof, landing feet-first while wearing shin, knee, elbow, hip, and back pads.
Fire & Blood Productions deny the allegations, saying the box rig was “durable and was not compressed when a stunt performer stepped off onto the mattress and rolled away.”
The production company alleged that Michaels did not walk off the roof as instructed by the stunt coordinator but rather dropped “‘like a pencil,’ in a rigid or vertical manner.”
Michaels shared that over the last four years, she has had multiple surgeries on her foot and that the injury required a plate and screws to be inserted under the skin. The stuntwoman has also undergone “lengthy, intensive” physiotherapy and has been treated for depression and trauma.
According to physicians cited in Michaels’ claim, her range of movement and function has been significantly reduced, barring Michaels from skiing, skydiving, gymnastics, or running due to her sustained injuries. Michaels allegedly also struggles with basic tasks such as shopping, cooking and gardening.
Michaels has not been able to return to work since her on-set injury. To note, Michaels’ parents Wayne Michaels and Tracey Eddon are also both legendary stunt performers, with her father standing in for Pierce Brosnan in “Goldeneye” and her mother doubling as Princess Leia in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.”
Fire & Blood Productions additionally claims Michaels’ injury was “caused either by the Claimant’s failure to execute the pleaded stunt properly and/or with the skill and care of a reasonably competent stunt performer or by pure accident.”