There has been so much drama on the set of the Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider that the story of the production of the film might deserve its own movie someday. Just a month after Gregg Allman asked for production on his own biopic be shut down following the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, the singer is now being sued by a hairstylist on the film who claims to have suffered a fractured arm and post-traumatic stress. Joyce Gilliard filed the lawsuit this week in Savannah against the producers of Midnight Rider, director Randall Miller, and Allman after she sustained injuries as a result of the freight train accident that threatens to derail the entire production.
Last week, the family of Sarah Jones filed a wrongful death suit against the production after a train struck Jones on February 20th in Wayne County, Georgia while she prepared for a camera shot. Six other people were hurt in the incident, including Gilliard. “The pressure from the train was so strong it pulled me off what I was holding onto and it snapped my arm. I immediately grabbed my arm and wrapped it up with a piece of the prop, which was a sheet,” Gilliard said last month in a conference call, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Allman, who is also an executive producer on the film, has argued that he doesn’t have anything to do with the actual making of the film or location scouting and therefore shouldn’t be held accountable. Last month, he asked filmmakers to cease production on the film based on his memoir My Cross to Bear. “Your desires as a filmmaker should not outweigh your obligations as a human being,” Allman wrote. “I am asking you to do the right thing and to set aside your attempts to resume the production out of respect for Sarah, her family and the loss that all of us feel so deeply.” Production continues on the film, even though Allman admitted to Rolling Stone earlier this year that he had the capability to “pull the plug” on the film anytime. Allman had filed a lawsuit in order to stop production, but subsequently dropped the suit.
Gilliard also named CSX, the train operator, and Rayonier, who own the land next to where the accident occurred, in her lawsuit. A miscommunication between CSX, Rayonier, and the Midnight Rider producers has been cited as the cause of the accident, as the filmmakers claim they weren’t properly informed of how many times the freight train passed daily through their shooting location. Producers also reportedly did not properly acquire permission to shoot in the historic Doctortown Railroad Trestle.