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Gregg Allman Biopic Producers Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit

David McNew, Getty Images

They may not have to contend with a legal challenge from Gregg Allman anymore, but the producers of a biopic about the life and times of the Allman Brothers frontman now find themselves the targets of a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the tragic on-set accident that claimed the life of a crew member earlier this year.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the parents of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant who lost her life in the accident, are suing ‘Midnight Rider’ producers Jody Savin and Randall Miller (the latter of whom is also the movie’s director). According to the article, “the suit names their production company Unclaimed Freight Productions, its local production partner Meddin Studios, CSX Transportation, and Open Road Films, the company owned by theater chains Regal and AMC that had planned to distribute the film. Other defendants include Jay Sedrish, the unit production manager; Hillary Schwartz, the first assistant director; and Allman, who served as an executive producer on the film.”

Seeking what the Times refers to as “unspecified punitive damages,” the suit describes a number of safety violations and alleges that “By committing these acts, or failures to act, the ‘Midnight Rider’ defendants operated without minimum safety precautions and contrary to standard industry practices for productions of this scale and for productions involving dangerous filming conditions.”

The Jones’ filing is just the latest in a series of setbacks ‘Midnight Rider’ has faced since Jones’ shocking death, including the departure of former star William Hurt, a Facebook campaign urging a boycott of the film, and a police investigation. Savin and Miller haven’t responded to the lawsuit, but at this point, it’s looking less and less likely that ‘Rider’ will ever arrive in theaters.

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