"Resident Evil" stuntwoman sues producers after losing her arm, says they "abandoned" her

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

Hollywood stuntwoman Olivia Jackson was hired as a body double for actress Milla Jovovich in the blockbuster action movie "Resident Evil." And while this job could have been one of the greatest of her life, it ended in tragedy.

Jackson is suing the producers of the film after she suffered a "horrific on-set injury," her lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court states. After a stunt went wrong, Jackson's left arm had to be amputated.

The suit details the day of shooting in 2015 that resulted in the terrible accident.

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Jackson was supposed to film a fight scene, but at the last minute was "asked to perform a dangerous and technically complex motorcycle scene in adverse weather conditions." Jackson's suit alleges that during the scene, a camera attached to a crane was supposed to elevate above her head as she sped forward on a motorcycle — but the crane operator failed to raise the camera.

The camera cut through Jackson's face, leaving her teeth exposed, and twisted her shoulder, "ripping-out five nerves connected into her spinal column at the root." She was placed in a coma during a surgery that saved her life, but she was still left without one of her arms.

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The exciting life of the disabled…everyday 1hr physio to try get my neck & chest working, training for the rest of my body, eat some nerve pain drugs, visit a doctor of some sorts, sleep, repeat. Damn this is boring & definitely NOT the high adrenaline life that I normally live 🤔 With persistence and patience I will eventually get where I wanna go! I could never do this without my team @davegstunts @perfectbalanceclinic @stevegranthealth and all my beautiful friends & family ❤️ #andofcoursemymotocrew #patience #persistence #excitinglife

A post shared by Olivia Jackson (@oliviathebandit) on

Jackson is now suing the defendants, producers Paul Anderson and Jeremy Bolt, and their production companies Tannhauser Gate Inc, Impact Pictures and Bolt Pittures, for an unspecified amount.

Jackson alleges the defendants caused her "nightmarish injuries," then "shamelessly abandoned [her] and welched on their promise to provide financial support to cover her medical expenses." The suit alleges they skimped on insurance and that Jackson "was left without the financial means to cover the medical care she desperately needed for her grievous injuries, while Defendants, for their part, continue to enjoy the abundant profits generated by The Final Chapter."

"Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" grossed over $300 million internationally and the whole franchise is "a cash cow for [the] defendants," the suit claims. "Despite generating handsome profits, [the] defendants have repeatedly failed to adhere to basic safety practices, imperilling the lives of the cast and crew."

The suit also alleges 11 actors were injured on the set of the previous "Resident Evil" movie, "Resident Evil: Retribution," which was released in 2012.

In addition to the cost and pain the on-set injury initially caused Jackson, she is still suffering, and will need another surgery that costs between $750,000 to $1 million, her lawyer Stuart Fraenkel said, according to USA Today.

First published on September 16, 2019 / 11:54 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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