The family of “Midnight Rider” camera assistant Sarah Jones, who was killed during filming, has dismissed Gregg Allman, executive producer Michael Lehman and Open Road Films as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit.
“The legal process is working and questions are being answered,” said Jones’ father, Richard Jones, in a statement Thursday. “During a very difficult and trying time for our family, Gregg Allman and Michael Lehman demonstrated their genuine sorrow over the loss of our daughter and their willingness to work with us in the future to ensure safe film sets for all. For that, we are grateful.”
Sara Jones was killed and seven others were injured Feb. 20 when an oncoming train struck a filming location of the Gregg Allman biopic in Wayne County, Ga. Jones’ family later filed a wide-reaching wrongful death lawsuit that also named the owner of the train tracks and surrounding property where Jones died.
According to the legal documents filed in May, the Jones family alleged that none of the “Midnight Rider” defendants named in the suit received the proper permission to film on the CSX-owned train tracks, lied to the crew about it, and failed to take proper safety precautions even knowing the danger. The suit named among 18 defendants Film Allman and Unclaimed Freight Productions, the production companies in charge of “Midnight Rider,” as well as director Randall Miller.
Family attorney Jeff Harris explained the latest legal move in a statement Thursday:
This firm was hired by Richard and Elizabeth Jones to find out exactly what happened to their daughter, what decisions were made that led to that fateful day and to determine, and ultimately hold accountable, those who were involved.
After reviewing the many thousands of pages of documents, and other information we have obtained through the legal discovery process, it is clear that Mr. Allman and Mr. Lehman had no involvement in any of the decisions that resulted in Sarah’s death,” Harris said. Our investigation has also shown that, in this case, Open Road Films was not directly involved in the poor decisions that led to this horrific event and the tragic loss of Sarah’s life. As a result, we are dismissing all claims against the three parties.