Dangerous premises blamed for film workers' deaths, injuries

Dangerous premises blamed for film workers' deaths, injuries

Many California residents love going to the movies, but few are aware of the safety concerns that may arise in the production of these entertaining films. In many cases, the dangerous condition of property or work sites can actually lead to film crew members' injury or death. A series of film workers' deaths has raised awareness and concern within the industry about workplace safety and hazardous conditions on private and public property.

A Feb. 20 accident in Georgia left one woman dead after a horrific accident involving a train. Film crews were using a metal-frame bed placed upon train tracks; they had been told that no more engines would be running on the tracks that day. Contrary to that information, a train came barreling down on the film crew, sending equipment flying and forcing workers to flee. One 27-year-old woman perished when she was struck by debris from the crash scene. Six other workers on that bridge also were injured.

It appears that the production company did not have permission to work on the railway trestle bridge. They had, however, been granted the opportunity film on property surrounding that trestle.

Workers in the Hollywood film industry face hazardous conditions on a daily basis, according to some insiders. Film and TV sets are often the site of injuries for workers and visitors alike. Other recent incidents included a SCUBA diver who perished while preparing an underwater scene. In some cases, these victims suffer serious injuries because of a negligent property owner who fails to warn them about dangerous property conditions.

Property owners who allow production companies to film on their land should ensure that their facilities are safe for such operations. Negligent property owners may be subject to civil proceedings, and they may be required to pay for medical expenses and other related costs if someone is injured. A California premises liability company may be able to provide additional information for victims who have been hurt because of hazardous conditions.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Sarah Jones' death calls attention to film crews' safety" Richard Verrier, Mar. 21, 2014

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