A lawsuit filed against 20th Century Fox and numerous other parties last week – about two years after a crew member was injured on the metro Atlanta set of the series “Sleepy Hollow” – accuses the defendants of “failing to exercise ordinary care … to protect the filming cast and crew and failing to take reasonable safety precautions.”
Plaintiff Deborah Cottrill is represented by Harris Lowry Manton LLP, the firm that represented the parents of Sarah Jones, who died in a 2014 film-set accident. On Monday a Savannah jury awarded Richard and Elizabeth Jones $11.2 million in their wrongful death lawsuit.
In another parallel, Cottrill and the late Jones had the same on-set job, as second camera assistant.
According to Cottrill’s suit, she was performing her duties, which included “setting up cameras, keeping the cameras loaded with film, and helping track and transport equipment” on July 27, 2015 when an episode of the show titled “Whispers In The Dark” was filming in Conyers.
“Despite the fact that cast and crew members were in the area and many crew members were moving equipment, none of the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ defendants, or their agents, representatives, 10 contractors, or employees, properly closed the portion of the set where Ms. Cottrill and other members of the crew were working,” the suit says. “Despite the fact that the cast and crew members were moving about, the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ defendants, or their agents, representatives, contractors, or employees, failed to take reasonable, minimum safety precautions.”
As a result, the lawsuit claims, Cottrill was hit by a truck “on a road that should have been closed and appeared to be closed.” Cottrill’s leg and ankle were broken and her shoulder was injured, the suit says. She’s had multiple surgeries and procedures since then.
Cottrill seeks a jury trial, attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, damages “including but not limited to past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and all other elements of damages allowed under the laws of the State of Georgia,” in addition to punitive damages that “should be imposed in an amount sufficient to penalize the defendants and to deter such willful, wanton, and reckless conduct in the future,” the suit says.
“Sleepy Hollow,” which filmed its first two seasons in North Carolina before moving to Georgia, ended after four seasons.
(The AJC requested comment from 20th Century Fox and will add whatever response we receive. Return for updates.)