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Sarah Jones Family Reaches Settlement in ‘Midnight Rider’ Case

Sara Jones Family to Settle Lawsuit
David McNew/Getty Images

The family of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant killed on the set of “Midnight Rider” earlier this year, have agreed to settle their civil lawsuit with the film’s director and producers, a spokeswoman for the family’s law firm said on Wednesday.

The settlement was made with the filmmakers, including director Randall Miller, producer Jody Savin and executive producer Jay Sedrish, as well as a number of other defendants.

Jones was killed on Feb. 20 in a train accident on the set of the movie. Eight others were injured.

Terms of the settlement were confidential.

“Richard and Elizabeth Jones’ objectives in filing this lawsuit, after the death of their 27-year-old daugher Sarah, have been clear and unwavering,” said the family’s attorney, Jeff Harris. “To find out what happened on the day of their daughter’s death, determine who was responsible, hold those who made bad decisions accountable and ensure this kind of tragedy never happens again on another film set. Today, we are another step closer to fully achieving those objectives.”

An attorney representing the filmmakers did not immediately return a call for comment.

The family also said that the settlement included Miller and Savin’s production company, Unclaimed Freight Productions; location manager Charles Baxter; producer Don Mandrik; first assistant director Hillary Schwartz; cinematographer Mike Ozier; Epozier Films; and Rayonier Performance Fibers.

The latter owns the land surrounding the railroad tracks, and granted the filmmakers access to their property. CSX Transportation, which owns the tracks, said the production did not have their permission to be on its property.

CSX remains a defendant in the lawsuit, as do Meddin Studios and Jeffrey Gant.

News of the settlement was first reported in the Los Angeles Times.

Richard Jones, the father of Sarah Jones, said in a statement on behalf of himself and his wife, Elizabeth, “Elizabeth and I are dedicated to ensuring that our daughter’s death is not in vain, and through our work with the Sarah Jones Film Foundation we continue to advocate for safer film sets — keeping safety always at the forefront, never again an afterthought. Safety for Sarah.”

Miller, Savin, Sedrish and Schwartz each face criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass. A trial is scheduled to begin in March. A spokeswoman for the district attorney who covers Wayne County, Ga., where the accident occurred, had no comment on the civil settlement.

The Jones family filed suit against 18 defendants in May, citing negligence and seeking an unspecified amount of damages. Last month, family members announced that three other defendants, including Gregg Allman, his manager Michael Lehman and the film’s distributor, Open Road Films, were being dropped from the case.