A stunt woman who nearly died when a ‘haphazardly planned’ action sequence went wrong on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is suing the film’s producers.
Olivia Jackson is claiming the producers covered only $33,000 of her medical bills and gave her $990 in loss of earnings despite the movie taking in more than $300million at the box office.
Jackson lost her arm and had flesh torn from her cheek in a horrific accident on the film’s set in
She was standing in for Milla Jovovich and was driving a motorcycle at 40mph when she plowed head first into a crane which had a camera attached to it. The crane was supposed to have swung over her head a second earlier.
The accident was well-documented and the 38-year-old was praised afterwards for vowing to stay positive and recover.
Since then, she has been stuck in a legal back-and-forth with film producers Jeremy Bolt and Paul Anderson who she claims ‘abandoned’ her after promising to cover all her medical bills when she was in a coma.
In a lawsuit obtained by DailyMail.com that was filed in California on Tuesday, she claims the filmmakers took out ‘woefully’ inadequate insurance which covered only $33,000 in medical expenses – a ‘sliver’ of the cost of the care she says she needs.
‘The $33,000 that was made available does not cover the cost of even one of the many major surgeries that Ms Jackson needs.
‘She could need 10 or more surgical procedures. This does not take into account any of the prosthetics, aids or therapies that Ms Jackson requires, which could each cost tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds,’ attorney Julian Chamberlayne, who is leading the case, told DailyMail.com.
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Olivia Jackson lost an arm in the horrific motorcycle crash on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in South Africa in 2015. She is now suing the film’s producers claiming they ‘abandoned’ her and gave her a ‘woefully’ inadequate insurance policy which covered only $33,000 in medical bills
Jackson claims the film’s producers, Jeremy Bolt and Paul Anderson, did not give her adequate coverage then left her saddled with medical bills when she refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement
She also claims the stunt went wrong because of last minute changes that were made to the sequence but that she was not consulted on.
Jackson does not state in her lawsuit how much the total cost of her care has been to date or how much she will need in the future.
She describes the injuries she suffered in skin-crawling detail.
Neither Anderson nor Bolton immediately responded to DailyMail.com’s inquiries on Thursday morning. Attempts to reach them at their production companies – Bolt Pictures and Impact Pictures – were unsuccessful.
Jackson’s lawsuit describes how she came to work for the pair in 2015 after having a chance meeting with the film’s stunt coordinator at a motocross track in South Africa.
He told her that they desperately needed a stand-in for Milla Jovovich on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and asked if she wanted the job.
Jackson says she was hesitant at first because she had signed on to work on Wonder Woman in the US. She was only in South Africa to renew her visa and planned to go back to the UK, where he lives with her husband, afterwards.
She nonetheless agreed, demanding UK rates because South African pay was so low, and started working. Her contract described liability insurance and she felt she would be fully covered should anything go wrong onset.
On September 5, 2015, the day of the accident, she was meant to film a fight scene but it was called off because of heavy rain.
She was to drive on the motorcycle, straight, without swerving.
‘At the same time, a vehicle fitted with a mechanical crane attached to a camera “the Freedom Arm” was to commence driving towards [her] and while so approaching, she would be filmed from the front.
‘The sequence was planned so that the camera would start filming from a position close to the road surface and then would be lifted up through manipulating the Freedom Arm to pass over her head at close quarters,’ the lawsuit reads.
Jackson practiced the stunt twice before the accident. The first time, it was just her driving, without the Freedom Arm moving.
The second time, it was moving and she noted that it ‘narrowly missed her’.
Jackson was the stunt woman for Milla Jovovich (pictured in the film). The accident took place when she was performing a motorcycle stunt and went headfirst into a mechanical camera arm at around 71mph
The accident nearly killed Jackson. She survived but with a litany of injuries which included a ripped shoulder blade
Jackson had to have her left arm amputated. It offset her balance to such an extent that her spine has now twisted
The arm before it was amputated, immediately after the accident, left, and afterwards
The third time, changes were made which she said were ‘critical’. The vehicle which was carrying crane and camera moved off from a different spot.
It was also decided that the arm would lift ‘one beat later’.
Jackson says that because she was driving at 43mph and the car was moving at 28mph, the relative approach speed was 71mph.
Because of the delay, she crashed headfirst into the arm.
When Jackson hit the arm, she tried first to protect herself with her arms.
She then describes in harrowing detail the accident and her subsequent injuries.
‘The force of the blow was so severe that it sliced through her forearm, obliterating the bone in the process (the bone was never recovered), before tearing into her cheek, pulling the flesh back and leaving her teeth exposed.
‘The impact twisted her shoulder blade backwards, ripping five nerves connected into her spinal column out at the root.
‘She suffered multiple fractures to her spine, her eye socket, her ribs, her shoulder scapula and clavicle, her humerus and her forearm, her thumb was torn off, her arm became paralyzed, her brain bled and swelled, an artery was severed in her forearm and multiple arteries ruptured in her neck.
‘Her left arm could not be saved and had to be amputated above the elbow. Cerebral spinal fluid sapped out of the hole created by the nerves tearing out of her spinal column, leaving her screaming in agony.
‘The neuropathic pain that riddled her body felt like termites eating flesh; a pain she had to fight while battling hallucinations and sleepless nights caused by post-traumatic stress and brain injuries.
‘With the loss of her arm, paralysis on the left side of her neck and imbalance of muscles, her spine twisted and deformed, causing one leg to be shorter than the other,’ the lawsuit reads.
Jackson still suffers from PTSD and cannot sleep sometimes. She said the pain from the accident felt like ‘termites eating flesh’
Before: Jackson was a revered stunt woman and was scheduled to work on Wonder Woman when she took the Resident Evil job at the last minute
She was taken to the hospital and placed in an induced coma while doctors fought to save her life and her husband flew from the UK to South Africa to be with her.
In her lawsuit, Jackson claims Bolton met with her husband and promised she would be taken care of financially, ‘all the way through’.
‘We’re here to say just being human beings we absolutely will do that… we’ll honor that regardless of the insurance. We don’t want you to worry about that… We can’t imagine the hell you’re going through. We’re here on behalf of Paul and Milla and everybody to just really say we are here with you,’ Bolton was allegedly recorded saying at the meeting.
Jackson told DailyMail.com earlier this week: ‘I miss my old face. I miss my old body. I miss my old life’
But Jackson claims she was soon asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for the company paying for her medical care.
When she refused, she says they retaliated by threatening to not pay for a back surgery she needed. They ultimately paid for it.
However for years afterwards, she says she has only ever been offered ‘modest’ sums from the company on top of the ‘paltry’ coverage from the insurance policy which gave her $998 in loss of earnings and $33,000 in medical bills.
She does not say how much she needs, but says the insurance payout is barely enough to cover ‘a sliver’ of her mounting costs.
Jackson previously filed a lawsuit in South Africa but Bolt and Anderson’s lawyers asked for it to be dismissed and it was.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, she said this week: ‘I miss my old face. I miss my old body. I miss my old life. It really hurts that I have to live with the aftermath of other people’s mistakes.
‘I wish I had realized that there would be wholly inadequate protection for me before I ever took the role.’
Resident Evil grossed $24million in the US and made $312million worldwide, according to the lawsuit.