Railroad Company Settles Lawsuit Over 2014 Movie Set Crash in Georgia
SAVANNAH, GA. – According to an online news story reported at usatoday.com, a railroad company has agreed to settle a lawsuit regarding a 2014 train crash on a movie set in Georgia. The family of the victim won a jury trial in 2017, and the settlement signals the end of the rail company’s appeal.*
On February 20, 2014, a film crew was shooting scenes for a movie called “Midnight Rider” about the life of singer Gregg Allman. The crew was posted on a set of tracks owned by CSX Transportation, despite the fact that CSX rejected the crew’s request to film on this property. Two trains traveled through the area as the crew was set up on either side of the tracks, and neither of these train’s operators alerted dispatch.
A third train then crashed through the set, killing 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones. Jones’s parents sued CSX and other defendants for their daughter’s death, and in 2017, a Georgia jury awarded the family $3.9 million in damages against CSX. The jury understood that the film crew was trespassing but found that CSX was negligent anyway.
CSX appealed the verdict, but on January 24, close to the five-year anniversary of the tragedy, the rail company agreed to settle the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount. Jones’s parents issued a statement following news of the settlement saying they were relieved the suit was finally over.
The movie “Midnight Rider” did not proceed through production after the crash. Gregg Allman himself pursued legal action prior to his passing that prevented the director, Randall Miller, from continuing with the film.
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