BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — An East Feliciana Parish man is suing a year after allegedly receiving severe injuries while on the set of Will Smith’s “Emancipation.”
According to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the 19th Judicial District Court in East Baton Rouge Parish, James Walker, Jr., who worked as a background actor on the movie’s Louisiana set, was “violently” hit in the face by a 50-pound cable-suspended camera system traveling 60 miles per hour.
Walker’s injuries from the November 29, 2021 incident in St. Tammany Parish allegedly included lacerations and facial bone fractures.
The lawsuit alleges that defendants film director Antoine Fuqua and cinematographer Robert Richardson chose to use the cable-suspended camera system for a civil war battle scene in the movie in a dangerous manner. Other defendants in the lawsuit include Apple Studios Louisiana, LLC, Interstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., Entertainment Partners, LLC, Westbrooke Studios, LLC, Escape Artists Productions, LLC, McFarland Entertainment, LLC, and Fuqua Fillms, Inc.
“Plaintiff further shows that the incident sued upon herein was substantially certain to occur given Richardson and the production staff’s knowledge of the risk of a cable-suspended camera system while actors are directly below the system and in harm’s way,” the lawsuit states.
Walker is seeking damages for past, present, and future physical, mental and emotional pain, medical expenses, and lost wages.
Fuqua, an award-winning director, is known for directing action and thriller films. His previous films include “Training Day,” “The Equalizer,” and “Southpaw.”
“Emancipation” starring actor Will Smith follows the story of an enslaved man’s journey to freedom. The movie will be available to stream on Apple TV+ on Friday, Dec. 9.