Studio That Provided Financing For Motion Picture Is Not Liable For Injury To Production Company Employee

Angelotti v. The Walt Disney Co., 2011 WL 653812 (Cal. Ct. App. 2011)

Anthony Angelotti was injured while rehearsing a stunt for a film that was being produced by Second Mate Productions, Inc. Angelotti sued Second Mate as well as The Walt Disney Company, which provided the financing for the film. Angelotti alleged that Disney had assumed a duty to ensure that the production complied with occupational safety regulations, that it had retained control over the film production and affirmatively contributed to his injury by providing unsafe equipment and failing to ensure his safety. The trial court granted summary judgment to Second Mate on the ground that the workers’ compensation exclusivity rule precluded any recovery against the production company. The court granted summary judgment to Disney on the ground that Disney did not assume a duty of care and did not affirmatively contribute to Angelotti’s injury. The Court of Appeal affirmed. See also Cortez v. Abich, 51 Cal. 4th 285 (2011) (employee of unlicensed contractor may sue homeowner under Cal-OSHA for injuries he sustained during residential remodeling project in which significant portions of the house were demolished and rebuilt and new rooms were added); Cabral v. Ralphs Grocery Co., 2011 WL 677396 (Cal. S. Ct. 2011) (Ralphs was liable for death of driver who suddenly veered off the freeway and collided with the rear of a Ralphs tractor-trailer that was parked alongside an interstate highway where truck driver was having a snack).