The hits keep coming for producers of Midnight Rider as makeup artist Antonyia Verna has become the latest to file a lawsuit over injuries connected to a train collision during the making of the movie about Gregg Allman.
In a Georgia county court, Verna has added her complaint to ones previously filed by the parents of Sarah Jones, a camera assistant killed in that Feb. 20 incident, and hairstylist Joyce Gilliard. Just like the past two lawsuits, Verna is suing Allman himself, as well as Unclaimed Freight Productions, Open Road Films, location manager Charles Baxter and other supervising personnel on the film.
Besides Jones’ death, there have been reports of six other injuries at a property in Wayne County, Georgia, where a scene was to be filmed on railroad tracks on a trestle bridge. Verna, who previously showed up in an incident report released by the Wayne County sheriff’s department as having been treated at the local hospital after the incident, is now looking to address her injuries.
According to her lawsuit, Midnight Rider producers didn’t get permission to film on the trestle bridge and concealed that fact from the rest of the cast. The lawsuit then alleges that the defendants failed to take “minimum safety precautions” and failed to “comply with applicable industry standards.”
This being a negligence claim, Verna’s attorneys spell out the alleged lack of precautions taken by Midnight Rider filmmakers, including selecting an “unreasonably dangerous site for the filming location,” failing to “station safety personnel,” failing to station “look-out” individuals to watch for an approaching train, failing to “hold a safety meeting prior to filming,” failing to “have an on-site medic present,” and so forth.
Eventually, the train came at “rapid speed,” and Verna’s complaint says the crew was told they would have “60 seconds to remove themselves,” but that amount of time wasn’t enough for some of the crew running towards the train, as that path was apparently the shortest distance towards potential escape.
Verna says she suffered “serious physical injuries, medical and other necessary expenses, post-traumatic stress, mental anguish, lost income, and mental and physical pain and suffering.”
She is demanding compensatory and punitive damages. She is joined in the action by her spouse Richard Brewer, who also wants monetary damages for his own suffering. They are represented by attorney Keenan Nix.
We’ll add any responses from defendants. In the past, Allman and Open Road have questioned their inclusion in the negligence litigation with most others declining press comment.