A professional stuntman, Joe Watts, sued the producers of the Fast and Furious movies after they failed to compensate him after sustaining a life-changing injury on set. According to Watts, the injury he sustained made him unable to carry out basic life activities and might even halt his professional career.
Joe Watts is about 34 years old and had fallen from a height of 25 feet while acting in a staged fight with another stuntman. The fall down to the concrete resulted from a broken skull and bone, which made him unable to walk or do anything else.
From the details of a new report, Mr. Joe Watts sustained those injuries after the safety wire, which was supposed to catch him while falling, failed to hold him. This left him with multiple injuries around his body and head, making him suffer serious brain injuries and traumatic damage.
Mr. Joe Watts is asking for about £1 million for damages he suffered while carrying out a stunt for Fast and Furious 9 in 2019. The obvious claim against the producers is negligence over safety measures. The stuntman for Vin Diesel believes the injuries have put an end to his career.
The Fast and Furious 9 wasn't the only movie he appeared in; he has performed many stunts for popular movies like The Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Mission Impossible. The fiancee of the injured stuntman, Tilly Powell, who is 30 years old, is suing FF9 Pictures Ltd, a movie giant Universal Pictures subsidiary, for not compensating Mr. Joe Watts.
Joe Watts's Injuries Are Terrible
From the legal papers submitted by the legal counsel of Mr. Joe Watts, the injuries he suffered made him relearn everything he had known, including speech. The injuries also caused him anxiety and depression, irritability, weakness in his left ankle and shoulder, and balance issues.
Laura Middleton-Guerard, Irwin Mitchell's workplace injury lawyer representing Mr. Watts and Ms. Powell, narrated how it has been incredibly difficult for the injured stuntman to cope with life. He also mentioned that it would have been much easier if the Fast and Furious movie producers had made some compensation after he suffered the injury.
"The past three years have been incredibly difficult for Joe, who has suffered life-changing injuries. He is unable to continue in the work he loved and now relies on Tilly and her clinical team to help him with daily tasks that people often take for granted. As a professional stuntman, Joe feels more could have been done to protect him from the risks of this job. We have now launched legal proceedings against FF9 Limited," Joe Watts's lawyer said.
Laura Middleton-Gerard also stressed that Joe Watts, through his representative, had made efforts to reach the producers of Fast and Furious 9 several times but to no avail. He also said that the money they needed from the producers was strictly for the welfare of the incapacitated stuntman.
"Although Joe would rather not be in this position, he feels his only option is to take legal action. He continues to work hard for his recovery. We will continue to support him by ensuring he has access to funding for the ongoing treatment he needs as he tries to move on with his life," the lawyer said.
Speaking about his near-death experience, Mr. Joe Watts said," It’s been over three years but I’m still extremely affected by what happened that day." He also asked movie producers to look out for their stunt performers' welfare to stop avoidable accidents from happening.