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Film Allman Loses Case Against New York Marine Insurer: “No New Info From FBI”

Deadline logo Deadline 5/23/2017 Anita Busch
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Film Allman has lost big in a ruling concerning insurer New York Marine who had settled with the family of Sarah Jones, the 27-year-old camera assistant killed on the set after Randall Miller put his crew on live train tracks. Film Allman, last month, filed a motion saying that the FBI was investigating whether Miller’s civil rights had been violated and whether he had been properly incarcerated — a move that was seen as a desperate attempt to positively affect the legal dispute against New York Marine.

However, Deadline found no key players that were ever contacted by the FBI except for those associated with Miller. To that point, Judge Wright wrote in his ruling that dismissed the case: “The problem with this argument is that there is no evidence that the FBI investigation has uncovered any new facts or has reached any sort of conclusion that would benefit Film Allman. Indeed, at present, Film Allman offers only meager secondhand knowledge of an ongoing investigation. This is not a valid basis for reconsideration.”

Film Allman, LLC was set up by writer-producer-director Miller and his wife/producer Jody Savin to film their Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider. Miller served a little more than a year in jail after pleading guilty to criminal trespassing and involuntary manslaughter for his part in the death of Sarah Jones. Several others also were injured, some seriously.

Film Allman and New York Marine were locking legal horns because Film Allman claimed that the insurer mishandled the settlement of the Jones’ civil case and the subsequent denial of continuing coverage. They claimed breach of contract. However, Judge White ruled: “Film Allman’s dissatisfaction does not create a genuine issue of fact as to whether New York Marine breached the CGL Policy. The controlling law is clearly on the side of the insurer here.”

Film Allman also lost its appeal in an effort to wipe away the “willful safety violation” and fine imposed by the Occupational Health and Safety Commission over the production company’s actions this year.

In the latest loss, New York Marine was awarded costs and partial summary judgment. The case was closed.

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