John Bernecker, 33, was the victim of a stunt gone horribly wrong on the set of hit AMC show The Walking Dead. He was doing a routine stunt where he was to fall off a 22-foot high balcony, but something went wrong and Bernecker missed the padding, landing head first on the ground. He was later pronounced brain-dead at the hospital and taken off life support. He passed away on July 12, 2017.
Susan is now exploring whether a lawsuit can be launched, and has enlisted the help of attorney Jeffrey R. Harris. Harris is no stranger to wrongful death lawsuits centered around on-set tragedies.
Previously, Harris won an $11.2 million judgment against rail company CSX for the family of camera assistant Sarah Jones, 27, who was killed in February 2014 on the set of the film Midnight Rider.
Jones and other crew were filming on the railroad tracks when a train came barreling down the railway. They were previously told they were clear to shoot for the day, but CSX never actually gave clearance.
The stunt work community has had a tough year with the most recent tragedy involving stunt rider Joi ‘SJ’ Harris dying on the set of Deadpool 2 in Vancouver earlier this month. She died at the scene after crashing her motorcycle through a glass window after losing control while trying to complete a stunt.
If a lawsuit is launched by Susan Bernecker, it is not yet known who will be named as the negligent party. ~Alexa Caruso