When news broke last year that a stuntman on The Walking Dead lost his life, the entire Walking Dead community mourned the loss. John Bernecker was credited with amazing stunts in some of the best of film and television.
Not only that, but his friends, family, and cast and crew members spoke highly of Bernecker. Saying he was passionate, talented, and beloved.
Now, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the filming company for Bernecker’s death.
Stalwart Films is being hit with a $12,675 fine which is the maximum for a ‘serious’ category citation. The reason states ‘failure to provide adequate protection from fall hazards.’
Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s Atlanta administrator, said this about the tragedy.
‘This tragedy should serve as a wake-up call for the entertainment industry. The entire industry needs to commit to safety practices for actors and stunt people involved in this type of work.’
AMC issued a statement from Stalwart Films in which they said they take the safety of their employees very seriously.
‘This was a tragic and terrible accident. We take the safety of our employees extremely seriously on all of our sets and comply with — and frequently exceed — industry safety standards. We disagree with the issuance of this citation and are considering our response.’
Production for The Walking Dead shut down for days after Bernecker’s loss and Scott Gimple opened up the panel at SDCC with this message.
‘John passed away this week after he was injured doing something he loved — helping tell stories that excite, entertain, and give people escape. John was someone beloved in the stunt community, someone who trained other people and helped them break into the business. He was living his dream, and he helped other people do the same thing.’
‘…but I knew him’