×

Gregg Allman’s Attorney Rejects Singer’s Inclusion in ‘Midnight Rider’ Lawsuit

The attorney for Gregg Allman said Friday that it was “unfortunate, unwarranted and without merit” that his client was named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Georgia earlier this week by the parents of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant killed in a Feb. 20 train accident on the set of “Midnight Rider,” a biopic about the singer’s life.

Allman and his manager, Michael Lehman, were named in the lawsuit that Jones’ parents, Richard and Elizabeth, filed on Wednesday. Also named were the movie’s director, Randall Miller; producer-writer Jody Savin; its executive producers; distributor Open Road; and a number of crew members. Also named in the complaint were the railroad CSX and Rayonier Performance Fibers, which owns the land around the tracks near Jesup, Ga.

“Mr. Allman simply provided an option to acquire motion picture rights to his life story and his autobiography,” attorney David Long-Daniels said in a statement released on Friday.

The lawsuit names Allman and Lehman and others who had executive producer credits on the movie.

But Long-Daniels said that they had limited input on the production shoot. He cited a recent court hearing in Allman’s effort to halt the movie, on the grounds that the filmmakers forfeited the fights to his life story. The litigation was settled after the hearing, but only after Miller gave about an hour of testimony.

“It is undisputed from the testimony at the recent court hearing that Mr. Allman and his representative did not have any knowledge that ‘live people (would be) on a live track,'” Long-Daniels said. “My clients were not at the location when this tragedy occurred nor have they ever been to that location. In fact, they had no role in securing any location for the making of the movie or the actual physical production of the film. They provided creative input on the script and the rights about Mr. Allman’s life, and consulted about casting and music.”

The attorney for Richard and Elizabeth Jones, Jeffrey Harris, said that they filed the lawsuit in part to try to discern how the tragedy could have happened. Since then, Harris said, there have been conflicting accounts of that day.

“One of the things that (Miller) testified to was that Mr. Allman was aware of the fact that they were going to be shooting on a railroad line, which is significant because Mr. Allman, I think, is going to take the position that he wasn’t aware of that,” Harris said. “So there again is another conflict.”

In his statement, Long-Daniels said that they were confident that the claims against Allman and his representative would be dismissed. “It is unfortunate that plaintiff’s counsel has taken a shotgun approach to this tragic event,” he said.

Long-Daniels also said that Allman has reached out to express his condolences to the family and had “maintained contact with the family as recently as last week.”

He also included what he said was an April 27, 2014, email from Richard Jones to Allman’s representative, in which Jones says that he wishes “to extend my gratitude for his position regarding the Midnight Rider movie,” as well as to explore any interest Allman would have in an ABC News “20/20” story being produced on the topic.

More Biz

  • View Conference Opens Registration for 2019

    2019 View Conference Opens Registration, Calls for Short Film Competition Entries

    Registration is now open for the 2019 edition of the View Conference in Turin, Italy. No speakers have been announced yet, but past conferences have featured some of the world’s top creative talents in visual effects, animation, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. Last year’s edition featured composer Hans Zimmer, Paramount Animation topper [...]

  • Kamala Harris Democratic candidate for US

    UCLA, Howard University Partner on Internship Program to Foster Diversity in Hollywood

    Increased focus on college students may be one way to pave a more diverse future in Hollywood. A new program from the UCLA Anderson School for Management’s Summer Institute at the Center for MEMES (Media, Entertainment & Sports) in partnership with Howard University gives students the opportunity to learn the ropes of the entertainment industry [...]

  • Anne del Castillo Named NYC's Commissioner

    Anne del Castillo Named New York City's Commissioner of Media and Entertainment

    The film and TV industries in New York City have a new boss: Anne del Castillo, who has been tapped by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Del Castillo had served as general counsel and chief operating officer of MOME since 2015. She succeeds Julie [...]

  • Warner/Chappell Music Names Ryan Press President

    Warner/Chappell Music Names Ryan Press President of A&R for the U.S.

    Warner/Chappell Music has announced the promotion of Ryan Press to president of A&R, U.S. Press, who joined the publisher in 2009, has worked closely with an array of acclaimed songwriters and producers, including Rihanna, Rae Sremmurd, DJ Khaled, Wiz Khalifa, Meek Mill, T-Minus, Tayla Parx, Gucci Mane, Mike Elizondo, Aloe Blacc, The-Dream, Priscilla Renea, Lil [...]

  • Sarah BarnettAMC - SundanceTV 'State of

    Listen: AMC Networks' Sarah Barnett on Finding TV's 'Holy Grail'

    Sarah Barnett’s new job at AMC Networks has her overseeing four cable channels and two streaming platforms. She’s spent the past few months since her promotion to president of entertainment networks adjusting operations, assembling the right team and diving deeper into AMC’s investment in audience research and analytic tools. But none of that work matters [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Beanie Feldstein Writes Touching Tribute to Her Brother, Maroon 5 Manager Jordan

    Actress Beanie Feldstein has written a moving tribute to her late brother Jordan, longtime manager of Maroon 5, who passed away of a heart attack in December of 2017. “It is impossible. Grief is just impossible. It cannot be contained or summarized or enclosed,” the tribute, published in InStyle, begins. “To describe the wound grief [...]

  • Broadcast Castings

    How Broadcast Networks Fight Streamers to Cast Top Stars in Their Pilots

    In a matter of weeks, the broadcast networks will go through the annual process of ordering pilots to series for the fall season.  The casts of this year’s pilot crop feature many broadcast mainstays and strong performers, but also illustrate that cable networks and streaming platforms are now the go-to destination for marquee stars looking [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content