AceShowbiz - The trial of the wrongful death of "The Walking Dead" stuntman John Bernecker has finally reached a verdict. On Thursday December 19, a jury concluded that AMC Networks was found not to be negligent in the death of the stuntman back in July 2017. However, John's estate was awarded with $8.6 million in civil damages.
According to reports, the nearly $9 million the jury deemed in damages will be covered by insurance. While AMC was found not to be neligent, the show and its production company Stalwart Films, were deemed liable. According to the court decision, Stalwart was found 40% responsible and the show is 25% responsible of John's death.
As for John, he was found 6% liable for his own death with some others being found liable as well. However, none were order to pay out of pocket since insurance had covered the judgement.
Following the verdict, Jeff Harris, plaintiff's attorney, said in a statement, "John was a remarkably talented stunt professional who had an incredibly bright future in the film industry. My sincere hope is this verdict sends a clear message regarding the need to both elevate and strictly adhere to industry safety standards every day, on every shoot, on every film set. John's tragic and preventable death happened as a result of a series of safety-related failures. Learning from these failures will go a long way in making sure that similar tragedies do not happen to another performer or another family."
"There is no winning or losing in this situation, this was a terrible and tragic accident and our sympathies continue to go out to John Bernecker's family and friends," AMC added in another statement. "The set of 'The Walking Dead' is safe and is managed to meet or exceed all industry standards and guidelines related to stunts and stunt safety. That has been the case across the production of 10 seasons and more than 150 episodes, and it continues to be the case today, notwithstanding this very sad and isolated accident."
John died in July, 2017, two days after suffering massive head injuries after crashing from a high balcony to a concrete floor while rehearsing a fight scene with "The Walking Dead" star Austin Amelio.