• Shirish Khaire

'Resident Evil' stuntwoman wins the lawsuit.

Updated: Aug 16


The recent landmark judgement by the South African high court in the prominent ‘Resident Evil’ case caught the attention of many people especially personal injury attorneys working in the field of tortious law. In this case, a 35-year-old former Thai boxer and stunt performer, Olivia Jackson, who was a double for Milla Jovovich, while racing on a motorbike on the disused highway of Pretoria, in an instalment of a popular zombie action franchise ‘Resident Evil’, in 2015, was collided with a crane mounted camera. The camera was being operated from a vehicle, travelling in the opposite direction. She suffered multiple fractures and serious brain swellings and had to spend 17 days in a coma. Her injuries were so severe, that her left arm could not be saved and had to be amputated.


She filed her case in South African high court on the ground of personal injuries sustained to her. To understand the case from her attorney’s point of view, let us first understand what personal injury means. What is Personal Injury?

According to Merriam Webster’s Law Dictionary ‘Personal injury is an injury, to one’s body, mind or emotions. Basically, personal injury means, any bodily or psychological injury, caused to a person, due to the negligence of another person, institution or state. It is different from damage to one’s property. Some instances of personal injury include motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents, damages due to nuisance, medical malpractices, nursing home neglect, dog bites, damages to a person’s reputation and emotional harms, etc. Compensations that can be claimed on the ground of personal injury

We all are aware, that damages and compensation for bodily sufferings and mental agony can be claimed under personal injury acts of respective countries from insurance companies as well as from the person, institution or state responsible for such damage. Life insurance, motor vehicle insurance, bite-size insurance are the various types of insurances that are traditionally claimed by people to bear unforeseen expenses, especially for medical treatment. The peculiar feature of the US insurance sector is that it only covers bodily injuries and not emotional harm. Role of the personal injury attorney

In such stressed situations, a personal injury attorney can come to rescue. These are attorneys, specialized in the field of tort law, a branch of civil litigation. It is not so, that in every case, you require an attorney, but it is always advisable to have one. The attorney can aid you in a great way in representing your case effectively, collecting pieces of evidence to make your claim-base strong, and assessing the actual amount of damages and compensation you are entitled to receive. This claimed compensation can be used to pay for medical treatments, make up for lost wages, mental pain and sufferings undergone by the claimant and provide compensation for injuries suffered. As for the above-mentioned case, Olivia was represented by Munro Flowers and Vermaak and Adv. J. J. Wessels who helped her get (in getting) the claimed compensation. After the skilful arguments made by the attorneys, the South African high court held that the accident was the result of last-minute changes made in shooting to get more exciting shot. Ultimately, it was proved, that Olivia was unaware of the changes and thus it can be said that she had not voluntarily assumed the risk of the accident. Thus, it would be treated as a road traffic accident, though, it took place on the closed and abandoned road during filming. Consequently, it was held that ‘Road Traffic accident Fund’ of South Africa would be liable to compensate Olivia. Conclusion

To summarize, the role played by personal injury attorney in helping their clients to get compensated for their material damages, mental agony and financial loss is significant. If ever a person is confronted with such a situation, it is advisable to approach a personal attorney injury, who can best represent your case.


Thanking Ankita Raje an aspiring 'Lawyer' for contributing to this blogpost with her research and knowledge.





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