Deceased stuntman awarded millions in wrongful death suit

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“After two days of deliberations, the Georgia jury in the trial of the wrongful death of The Walking Dead stuntman John Bernecker returned with a verdict this afternoon.

AMC Networks were found “not to be negligent” in the death of the stuntman, said the juror foreperson in an unanimous decision just read out in court. However, the estate of Bernecker, as represented by his mother, was awarded $8.6 million in civil damages. There were no additional punitive damages.

Any appeal looks unlikely as the nearly $9 million the jury deemed in damages will be covered by insurance, a source close to the case told Deadline.

Adding a further twist to the verdict, the jury decided that Bernecker was in fact an independent contractor, not an employee of production company Stalwart Films, which seems to be the main focus of liability in the jury’s perspective Thursday.”

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Individuals in occupations with a high element of danger understand the risks that come with such a job. Therefore, there’s an expectation that if something should go wrong, while unfortunate, it shouldn’t be all that shocking. However, there’s also the expectation that every safety precaution has been thoroughly followed. In this particular case, the argument of negligence isn’t all that far-fetched.

At Krug & Zupke, P.C. we realize that families dealing with a wrongful death incident are under a tremendous amount of pressure and grief. Dealing with the loss of a loved one and the financial burden because of that loss makes for an extremely difficult ordeal. If you find yourself in such a situation please call us at 651-645-7746 for a free consultation. You can also learn more by visiting our wrongful death page.