4:02pm PT by Scott Johnson
'Resident Evil' Producers Seek Dismissal of Stunt Performer’s Lawsuit Over Injuries
Attorneys for director Paul W.S. Anderson and his longtime producing partner Jeremy Bolt, along with their respective companies, Tannhauser Gate Inc., and Bolt Pictures Inc., have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against them by South African stunt performer Olivia Jackson, alleging that Jackson’s “American lawyers are suing the wrong people in the wrong place.”
Last month, Jackson filed a suit against Anderson and Bolt in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking unspecified damages for ongoing medical needs related to the 2015 motorcycle accident on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), which left her with severe nerve damage and led to the amputation above the elbow of her left arm.
Now Anderson and Bolt are defending themselves, saying that Jackson’s American lawyers “concocted false allegations ‘on information and belief' in a ham-fisted attempt to connect two artist's California loan-out companies to a matter entirely arising and contained within [South Africa].”
Attorneys for Anderson and Bolt declined to comment on the filing, referring all questions to the publicly available documents.
Jackson alleges that Anderson and Bolt created an unsafe working environment on the set of the last installment of the popular movie franchise, and also failed to procure adequate insurance to cover the injuries that resulted from her crash.
But the director and producer claim in the new motion that all matters pertaining to Jackson’s hiring and the procurement of an insurance policy to cover her were done by an unrelated South African firm called Davis Films, a production company which has worked on dozens of TV and film productions.
Anderson’s lawyers point out that Davis Films attempted to get a $3.2 million employer’s liability policy from Hollard Insurance, another South African insurer, but that Hollard later refused to honor Jackson’s claims, pointing to a clause that excluded “all cast and crew.”
Despite that refusal, Davis Films shelled out $248,256 to help cover Jackson’s costs. The question of who, if anyone, will pay further costs is still working its way through the courts in South Africa.
While that litigation continues, Anderson and Bolt’s attorneys say that bringing additional legal action in California is “a publicity stunt masquerading as a lawsuit.”
“The High Court of South Africa never decided the issue of the private policy coverage because it ruled that the [South Africa] was solely responsible for covering Plaintiff's injuries,” the motion states.
Additionally, the motion contends that Anderson and Bolt “never promised to pay personally for all of Plaintiff's unknown medical expenses,” a claim which runs counter to conversations recorded by Jackson’s husband and laid out in some detail in Jackson’s initial suit.
Lawyers for Jackson had not returned requests for comment at the time of publishing.