Producers of Midnight Rider, the Gregg Allman biopic that cost camera assistant Sarah Jones her life, have been cited by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Midnight Rider Production Co. Cited By OSHA

OSHA announced Thursday that the production company was guilty of “one willful and one serious safety violation” resulting from their decision to film on train tracks, despite not having permission or a proper safety plan in place.

“Employers are responsible for taking the necessary precautions to protect workers’ health and safety, and the entertainment industry is no exception. It is unacceptable that Film Allman LLC knowingly exposed their crew to moving trains while filming on a live track and railroad trestle,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.

In February, the crew of Midnight Rider was filming on train tracks outside Doctortown, Ga., when a train came, causing chaos as the 20-person crew ran for their lives. Sarah Jones, 27, was hit by the train and died, and many other crewmembers were injured.

Film Allman LLC Fined For Safety Violations

Midnight Rider director Randall Miller and producers Jody Savin and Jay Sedrish were charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass, charges to which Miller and Savin have entered a not guilty plea. And now, OSHA has hit Film Allman LLC, the production company, with a $75,900 fine for its violations.

“Their failure to develop a safety plan to prevent such hazards, including obtaining permission from the rail owner to use the tracks for filming, led to the death of one crew member and injuries to eight other employees,” said OSHA’s Regional Administrator for the Southeast Kurt Petermeyer.

Midnight Rider Lawsuits

Filmmakers Miller, Savin and Sedrish are also facing a number of civil suits from injured crewmembers, including one filed by Jones’ parents, and recently filed suit against their insurance company, New York Marine, in conjunction with their Film Allman LLC.

The suit claims that New York Marine is refusing to cover the loss resulting from the accident and Jones’ death. According to the suit filed Aug. 12, Miller suffered from physical injuries – though he was not hospitalized at the time of the accident – and post-traumatic stress disorder, causing a delay in production and costing Film Allman LLC $1.6 million.

Despite the disastrous production so far and the wave of lawsuits – including one from Allman himself, imploring them to stop production – Film Allman is still trying to move forward with the film, as evidenced in their suit.

“New York Marine unjustifiably has taken the position that the policy no longer will insure Midnight Rider on a forward-going basis and has threatened to cancel the policy altogether, thereby leaving Film Allman without any insurance coverage for the restarted production. As a result, Fillm Allman is now saddled with over $1.6 million in losses and the prospect of having to abandon Midnight Rider entirely,” reads the suit.

Meanwhile, the filmmaking community continues to honor Jones with the Slates for Sarah movement and the Safety for Sarah organization, which advocates for better safety regulations for cast and crew.

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