'Resident Evil' stunt double says set crash severed her arm: Lawsuit

Olivia Jackson suffered injuries in an on-set motorcycle crash in 2015.

September 12, 2019, 9:13 PM

A Hollywood stunt double filed a lawsuit this week against the producers of one of the films in the "Resident Evil" franchise after losing her arm in a "catastrophic" stunt gone wrong.

Olivia Jackson, a stunt double for "Resident Evil: The Last Chapter" star Milla Jovovich, said she suffered severe injuries in an on-set motorcycle crash back in 2015, causing her to have her arm amputated after being placed in a medically induced coma, according to the suit.

The suit, which names producer Jeremy Bolton and producer/director Paul W.S. Anderson, Jovovich's husband, as defendants, said the crash was the result of the production team "elevating financial considerations over safety," the lawsuit said.

Jackson, also a former model, claims the producers "abandoned" her and took out an insurance policy that only covered $33,000 of her medical expenses. After the accident, she said she was paid $990 in lost earnings despite the film's blockbuster success and gross of more than $300 million.

Jackson said she was initially slated to film a fight scene on the day of the crash, but in a "last-minute change, she was asked to perform a dangerous and technically complex motorcycle scene in adverse weather," the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Tuesday, said.

"The scene involved a vehicle fitted with a mechanical crane attached to a camera driving toward [Jackson], as she sped on her motorcycle directly at the camera," the suit says. "The camera was supposed to elevate safely above [Jackson] head before she reached it. But the haphazardly planned stunt went terribly wrong."

Jackson's career as a stunt double is over, according to the lawsuit.

"Unfortunately, for Olivia Jackson, rather than focusing on safety, the production crew made a last-minute change to the stunt and did not tell Olivia," her lawyer, Stuart R. Fraenkel, told ABC News in a statement. "This resulted in a life sentence for Olivia – a life sentence of disfigurement, pain and the inability to do what she loved most – giving the action movie lovers what they want – action.

She accused the producers of misleading her into believing that the insurance company would pay for her injuries, but she later learned there was no liability coverage for her claim.

"Had such facts been known to [Jackson], she never would have agreed to perform The Final Chapter, or alternatively, would have secured additional insurance on her own," the lawsuit stated. "She had already secured the role of stunt double for a leading cast member in Wonder Woman, and didn't need the work."

Jackson's other lawyer, Gabe Barenfeld, also called for wider action in Hollywood: "While Olivia’s injuries were entirely avoidable, stunt performers get injured. There needs to be adequate insurance in place to protect stunt performers’ financial security when they do get hurt. Insurance premiums are not where production companies should be cutting costs."

Representatives for Anderson, Bolt and their respective companies did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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