'The Walking Dead' News: Labor Department Issues Fine vs. Production Company Over Stuntman's Death
The United States Department of Labor has issued a fine to "The Walking Dead's" production company following the death of 33-year-old stuntman John Bernecker while filming on set.
The labor department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration office recently issued a statement calling out Stalwart Films LLC following the death of Bernecker last July 2017 while on the set of "The Walking Dead."
On Jan. 3, the OSHA issued a citation of the violations committed by the production company that allegedly placed the lives of the actors in danger while filming. An official statement mentioned that Stalwart Films was being fined $12,675 due to its "failure to provide adequate protection from fall hazards."
"OSHA investigated Stalwart's filming location in Senoia after a stuntman was fatally injured after falling more than 20 feet," the labor department agency further explained.
Stalwart Films is required to respond within 15 days from the time the citation was posted. It also had the option to talk about the citations with the OSHA, contest it, or correct the violation and pay the fine. OSHA reiterated that employers such as Stalwart Films are obliged to make sure that they are providing "safe and healthful workplaces" based on the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Meanwhile, OSHA Atlanta Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer also said in the statement: "This tragedy should serve as a wake-up call for the entertainment industry." He then added: "The entire industry needs to commit to safety practices for actors and stunt people involved in this type of work."
Bernecker died in July after suffering serious injuries from a more than 20-feet fall and hitting a concrete ground. According to reports, the victim was brought to Atlanta Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead due to blunt force trauma.
Meanwhile, following the release of OSHA's citations of Stalwart Films' violations, the victim's mother, Susan Bernecker, told Deadline that they would continue to "seek justice for John and to ensure that no other parent with a child working in the film and television industry suffers this kind of heartbreak."