The family of “The Walking Dead” stuntman John Bernecker scored millions in a wrongful death lawsuit but it was significantly short of what they wanted.
A jury on Thursday awarded the estate $8.6 million after 2 days of deliberations … this according to a report. AMC Networks was found NOT to be negligent, but the show and its production company, Stalwart Films, were found liable. Stalwart was found 40% responsible and the show is 25% responsible.
The jury ruled the victim — Bernecker — was 6% liable for his own negligence. There were others found liable as well, but it appears none will have to pay out of pocket. Insurance will cover the judgment.
As we reported … Bernecker died just a couple of days after suffering major head injuries, the result of a stunt got wrong back in July 2017. Bernecker was supposed to fall headfirst over a balcony and land in a crash pad.
Instead of dropping outward and away from the balcony, Bernecker fell underneath the balcony … missing the crash pad by inches. He attempted to abort the fall by grabbing onto the railing with both hands but plummeted 22 feet below … landing on his head and neck.
Bernecker’s mother, Susan, sued last year and was seeking between $40 million and $100 million in damages. She was banking on getting a big punitive damage award, but the jury didn’t buy it and awarded nothing in punitives.
Bernecker’s GF, Jennifer Cocker, is also a stuntwoman herself but she was not on set when the tragic accident happened. John was a stuntman who specialized in high falls. He had also worked on “24: Legacy” and ‘The Hunger Games.’