American Horror Story Producers Sued After Crew Death
The producers of the hit TV show American Horror Story are facing a wrongful death lawsuit after a crew member was killed onset. According to the lawsuit, the man was tasked with driving crew to and from production sites when he came down with COVID-19. Eventually, he died of the virus, prompting the lawsuit.
You can’t simply sue someone for coming down with a virus, and there are plenty of restrictions on COVID-19 lawsuits passed by legislatures to protect hospitals. However, companies that did little or nothing to prevent injury to their employees, or who did not follow CDC-issued recommendations may find themselves on the wrong end of a wrongful death lawsuit.
For a claim like this to move forward, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant did not do something they had an obligation to do. Employers were obligated to ensure their employees had access to PPE, did not report to work ill, and other pandemic countermeasures. In cases where the employer failed to implement those countermeasures, the lawsuit is actionable. The company can claim that they acted in good faith, met the standards imposed by the CDC, and defeat the claim.
How do you prove this case?
The first thing to prove a case like this is to establish what the CDC was recommending at the time that the patient fell ill. The patient contracted COVID somewhere in March of 2021. At this point, the CDC would have been issuing recommendations to companies on how to prevent the spread of the virus. If the producers did not follow those instructions, and an employee fell ill with COVID because of that, then the company could be held liable.
However, there are various barriers to a lawsuit like this. One of the major barriers is workers’ compensation. Production crews are often attached to production companies, but not always. In some cases, a worker is injured due to the conduct of another worker at a different company. In that case, they can sue the other company, but not their employer. Contractors work on a different system and are considered their own companies.
In this case, the plaintiff requested a face shield but never received one. Further, other vans did have protective barriers, just not the plaintiffs. The lawsuit argues that the defendants ignored requests for PPE and other COVID protocols and are thus responsible for the plaintiff’s death.
The plaintiff has an actionable theory of negligence, but will this translate into a win in court? The answer is maybe as it will depend heavily on the state’s COVID immunity rules which are different everywhere. In Florida, the allegations would be strong enough to get the case before a jury, and the jury would likely resolve the matter in favor of the plaintiff if they can prove their claims to the jury’s satisfaction.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Alan Goldfarb, P.A. represents the interests of Miami residents injured by negligence. Call our Miami personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.