CSX reaches settlement over death of Sarah Jones on ‘Midnight Rider’ set
Rail operator CSX Transportation has reached a financial settlement with the family of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant who was killed in 2014 on the Georgia set of “Midnight Rider” when a train struck crew members who were shooting a scene on a rail track.
The settlement was filed on Friday in Chatham County State Court in Savannah, Ga., according to Harris Lowry Manton, which represents the Jones family. The terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.
“This has been a long journey, and we’re deeply grateful for the support we’ve received from family, friends and members of the film community,” said Richard Jones, father of Sarah Jones, in a statement. “We’re relieved that the lawsuit has concluded.”
A jury awarded family members $11.2 million in 2017 in their wrongful death lawsuit. As one of the defendants in the case, CSX was held to be 35% liable for the damages. CSX operated the train that was involved in the accident, but the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company disputed its liability and appealed the verdict, which led to negotiations.
“We hope that no other family will endure the loss of a loved one due to unsafe conditions filming on location or on set,” said Jeff Harris, the lead trial attorney for the plaintiffs, in a statement on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the plaintiffs’ attorneys didn’t respond to requests for comment.
A representative of CSX could not immediately be reached for comment.
Sarah Jones was 27 when she was killed while working on the Randall Miller-directed biopic of musician Gregg Allman. Eight other crew members were also injured in the accident. Production was halted and the movie was ultimately abandoned.
Miller eventually served a jail sentence after pleading guilty to charges including involuntary manslaughter. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also imposed fines on the movie’s production company.
The accident prompted multiple state and federal investigations and galvanized the film industry, prompting calls for greater attention to safety on sets worldwide.
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