Walking Dead production company gets maximum fine for stuntman's death


OSHA, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, cited Stalwart Films LLC for "failing to protect employees from fall hazards" while filming the hit AMC show and issued a "serious citation" while imposing the maximum allowable fine "for the company's failure to provide adequate protection from fall hazards".

UPDATED with production company statement: In the wake of July's death of stuntman John Bernecker on the Georgia set of The Walking Dead, OSHA has imposed the maximum allowable fine - $12,675 - on the company that produces the show. "The entire industry needs to commit to safety practices for actors and stunt people involved in this type of work".

"This was a tragic and awful accident", Stalwart Films said in an emailed statement Friday. We disagree with the issuance of this citation and are considering our response.

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The citation, dated Wednesday, says the company could have used a number of methods to reduce the risk to those performing stunts on high platforms, including reducing the fall distance, providing personal protective equipment to lower risks or providing spotters with individual crash pads or other equipment to protect performers and help correct an errant fall. The idea was for Bernecker to fall and land into a safety cushion placed below the balcony, but the incident report filled out by the Coweta County Sheriff's Office states that he landed on his head and neck on the concrete next to the cushion.

Filming began after Bernecker gave a thumbs-up to signal he was ready, Goodwin said.