It takes an army of actors, producers, writers and crew members to make a successful movie or television show. Stuntmen or stuntwomen are often part of the crew, depending on the needs of the production. Although stunts involve taking risks, when executed in a safe manner, injuries can be minimal. As with any other industry, workplace injuries can occur, especially if safety measures are neglected. People in California may be interested to learn that one woman in another state is claiming that a production company could be legally responsible for her son's death.
The woman's son was a 33-year-old man who specialized in stunts involving falls. At the time of his death, he was employed by AMC's "The Walking Dead." During a rehearsal, the man fell 20 feet onto concrete. The man suffered fatal brain injuries and died before the end of the day.
Workplace injuries are often investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The man's accident was in fact investigated by OHSA, and the production company has been issued a citation and fined $12,675. OHSA's citation accused the production company of failing to provide adequate safety measures for the stuntman.
Reportedly, the stuntman's death is the first death involving a stunt person that has occurred in an American production of television or movie in 17 years. With similar workplace injuries, employees may be eligible for workers' compensation to cover related medical expenses and therapy treatment. In some instances, families may qualify for death benefits through the insurance program. A quick discussion with an experienced California lawyer can help determine legal options and/or gain assistance with filing an insurance claim.
Source: nola.com, "Mother of N.O. stuntman killed on 'Walking Dead' set files lawsuit: report", Mike Scott, Jan. 24, 2018