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Family of Production Asst. Killed on Gregg Allman Biopic Set Awarded $3.9M

The family of the production assistant killed on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider in 2014 has been awarded $3.9 million by a jury in Savannah, Ga.

The money comes from CSX Transportation, which the family of Sarah Jones sued for negligence after a CSX train crashed through a Midnight Rider shoot on a railroad bridge in Chatham County on February 20, 2014, the first day of shooting.

The matter isn't closed, however; In a statement the rail company said that, "CSX is deeply sympathetic to the terrible loss suffered by the family of Ms. Sarah Jones, but respectfully disagrees with the conclusion reached by the jury today and will appeal."

Jones' family says that while filmmakers may not have taken the proper precautions or secured permits for the filming, CSX train operators were aware of the shooting on the tracks but did not alert dispatchers are they're directed to do by company policy. CSX lawyers maintained that the filmmakers were solely at fault since the company had sent two emails to the production denying permission for the shoot. Six other crew members were also injured during the incident.

Randall Miller, the film's director, spent a year in jail after pleading guilty to criminal trespassing and involuntary manslaughter charges. The film has been in limbo since the tragedy and is not expected to be restarted, even after Allman's death in May at the age of 88.

 

Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.