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AMC Argues Against Damages in Tragic Death of Stuntman


November 02, 2020

GEORGIA - Gamerant.com writes that a tragic incident involving a stuntman from the Walking Dead led to a lawsuit being filed against AMC.

The victim died when he fell off a balcony during the filming of an episode of the popular series. A jury awarded the victim's family $8.6 million in damages. AMC is now appealing the decision, and the Georgia Court of Appeals is slated to hear the case. The issue raised on appeal is whether the victim was an independent contractor or an employee. 

According to AMC, the victim was working as an employee. If the stuntman was an employee, the only recourse for the family would be to pursue a worker's compensation claim instead of a verdict.  According to AMC, the contract they entered with the stuntman used the word employee. However, the victim's tax records indicate he received a 1099, was paid through a loan-out company, and had to enter the set each day as a visitor. The case is odd as well because the contract the victim reportedly signed is dated for a time at which he was in a coma.

The tragic fatality that took place on the set of The Walking Dead is not the only time that a stunt worker suffered serious injuries on the set of a major production. A stuntman working on the Harry Potter films became paralyzed in an accident on set. A stuntman was also severely hurt while filming The Avengers. In that incident, the victim lost a large part of his scalp. 

In Top Gun, a stunt double died well filming when his camera plane plummeted into the ocean. Bruce Willis' stunt-double suffered multiple broken bones and a deflated lung when he fell 25 feet while filming a scene for Live Free or Die Hard. The high number of stuntman injuries highlights how risky the job is for these professionals in the film industry. 

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Sources:

https://gamerant.com/walking-dead-stuntman-death-accident-amc-settlement/

https://screenrant.com/times-stunt-performers-seriously-injured-or-died-on-set/

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.