Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Less Hollywood film revenue may be creating unsafe sets

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With the advent of online video streaming, Virginia residents are much less likely to purchase DVDs than they used to be. Now that film production studios cannot rely on DVD sales for a steady stream of revenue, the overall profitability of Hollywood films is going down. Many observers say that the lost revenue is resulting in budget pressures that are making film sets unsafe for the crews.

In the past few years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been receiving increasing numbers of reports of serious accidents on movie sets. A rise in on-set accidents has been seen in the film industry despite the safety awareness campaigns that followed a fatal one a couple of years ago. In 2014, a moving train killed a 27-year-old camera assistant who was helping to film a scene for the film "Midnight Rider".

The fatal accident happened while the crew was filming on train tracks with no film permit. Another fatal on-set accident took place in 2015 when a pilot crashed a plane on the set of the Tom Cruise movie "American Made". Family members of the deceased pilot said that producers went ahead with an unsafe flight in an effort to save time and money.

People who have been injured while they were working on a film set may be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits under their employer's insurance coverage. In some cases, where the accident was the fault of a non-employer third party, such as a fall from a defective ladder, a separate lawsuit could be maintained against the negligent party. An attorney can provide a worker with guidance in these types of situations.

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