August 31, 2011 6:52am PT by Eriq Gardner
Warner Bros. Sued Over 'Hangover 2' Stunt That Left Man With Brain Injuries (Exclusive)
Warner Bros. has been hit with a lawsuit over an alleged stunt-gone-bad on the Bangkok, Thailand set of Hangover 2 that left a man with significant brain injuries.
Scott McLean alleges that he was acting as a stunt double for actor Ed Helms during a sequence filmed on Dec. 17, 2010 where automobiles were traveling at high speeds. McLean was a passenger in one of those cars. A production source told THR last December that McLean was in a moving truck leaning out the window when the car driving towards it to pass skidded suddenly and hit.
According to the complaint filed in California federal court on Tuesday, the scene required "precision and timing," but that after the shooting had begun, the film's stunt coordinator, co-defendant Russell Solberg, directed the timing sequence to change.
The plaintiffs allege that "Solberg commanded to the driver of the automobile in which plaintiff Scott McLean was a passenger, that the speed of his vehicle be increased significantly to a speed unsafe for the stunt, thus resulting in a major collision."
McLean is said to have been airlifted from Thailand to Australia, where he has been in a hospital or rehab facility since that time. His reps report "likely permanent brain and physical injuries," including ongoing seizures, speech impediments, physical impediments, and brain trauma.
Included as a plaintiff in this action is McLean's domestic partner, Raelene Chapman, who according to the complaint, has been at his side virtually full time and unable to work.
Together, the two say that the defendants, including Warner and its supervising staff, had a duty under the laws of Thailand to ensure McLean's safety and allege they were negligent in those duties. They're suing for unspecified damages.
"We were shocked and saddened by this accident and have been working closely with Scott and his family throughout his treatment and recovery," said Warner Bros. in a statement. "We have offered continual support since the accident occurred and we are working together to try and resolve any outstanding issues."