Lights, Camera, Judgment: Mark Hanna Scores Win for Local Film Studio

Member Mark Hanna and Associate Joseph Trytten received a grant of summary judgment dismissing Chalmette, Louisiana’s The Ranch Studios in a premises liability/personal injury lawsuit brought by a former TV show crew member who worked for a production company that leased space at the studio.

The crew member worked for the production company in charge of Hulu’s original series The First, a near-future sci-fi drama about humanity’s first crewed mission to Mars. He claimed to have been sitting in a spacecraft set as a stand-in, filling the physical space of the actor while the crew adjusts the lights, cameras, and mics. The crew member claims that a cameraman tripped and fell on a large hole in the set, falling on top of him and hitting him with the camera, causing neck and shoulder injuries. The plaintiff crew member sued the production company, the producer, and Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett’s client—The Ranch Studios.

Hanna and Trytten demonstrated that The Ranch Studios had nothing to do with the set construction, the crew, or any other factor that could have caused his injuries. The Ranch Studios was merely a lessor of the space on which the production company built the spacecraft set. Additioanlly, the plaintiff made no allegations that any defect in the premises caused his injuries.

Orleans Civil District Court Judge Rachael Johnson heard arguments at a January 9, 2020 hearing and ultimately granted The Ranch Studios’ Motion for Summary Judgment.

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