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Filmmakers say not guilty to manslaughter in wrongful death case

Losing a loved one is never easy to cope with, but sometimes, it seems like an actual crime that demands some form of punishment. This is how the family of a young woman killed during the making of a film may feel, particularly in light of the horrendous nature of her death. The family is pursuing a wrongful death claim naming several parties.

The victim, a 27-year-old camera operator, died when a train tore through the set of "Midnight Rider" a film about southern singer/songwriter, Gregg Allman. The director and his producer wife have both pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges and called the event, "a horrible tragedy and a horrific accident." Six additional members of the film crew received injuries in the accident.

Authorities say the production company had permission to film in the area but did not have permission to film on the active railway line. The director and producer of the film say they have always put safety first in more than 20 years of making films.

The family members have recently filed a wrongful death claim against the director, Gregg Allman, the production companies associated with the film, the people who own the property where the incident occurred and the train operators. The separate manslaughter charges against the film's executive producer, director and producer could impose up to a 10-year prison sentence if they are found guilty.

Like a motor vehicle accident, an accident involving a train can result in catastrophic injuries and death. When those in charge of the scene of such an accident might have failed to protect all involved parties, a wrongful death lawsuit is an appropriate way for surviving family members to seek compensation or damages as well as closure.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Gregg Allman filmmakers plead not guilty to Georgia manslaughter charges" Eric Kelsey, Jul. 17, 2014

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