The Game of Thrones stunt performer who suffered injuries while filming the infamous "Batlle of Winterfell" episode is suing the makers of the show for upwards of $5 million. Stunt actress Casey Michaels suffered a "serious fracture dislocation to her left ankle" while performing a stunt sequence during the Battle of Winterfell episode, which saw her and over two dozen other stunt performers dressed as the monstrous "Wights" have to step off a castle rooftop and drop to a safety rig, below. Michaels landed on her feet, aggravating longstanding injuries that have allegedly prohibited her ability to work.
The suit from Casey Michaels is against Fire & Blood Productions, the production company behind Game of Thrones. The claim alleges that the safety rigging the production company created was flawed by nature and helped cause the injury: "By their nature...the cardboard boxes are not durable and become damaged as each stunt performer lands on the box rig and also as each stunt performer climbs off of the box rig after landing." She recalls that the stutnt performers were strictly instructed to walk off a roof "as if unaware of the drop, in keeping with the zombie-like nature of the Wights," and did so in full expectation that safety precautions had been made to handle any resulting type of fall.
Fire & Blood Productions has disputed Michaels' claims by saying that the safety box rig was in fact, "durable and was not compressed when a stunt performer stepped off onto the mattress and rolled away." They lay the blame at Casey Michaels' feet, stating that she did not follow instructions, and instead made the fall "'like a pencil,' in a rigid or vertical manner." They outright claim that Michaels' injuries were "caused either by the Claimant's failure to execute the pleaded stunt properly and/or with the skill and care of a reasonably competent stunt performer or by pure accident."
The plot thickens when you get into the history of Casey Michaels: she's a famous stunt performer whose medical history is riddled with injuries, including multiple foot surgeries that required plates and screws; physiotherapy, as well as mental health treatment for depression and traumatic experiences. It's noted just how much extra padding and safety gear Michaels wore during the incident (shin, knee, elbow, hip, and back pads) and that she was the final performer to make the drop (and apparently the only injury). Michaels is also the second generation of a great stunt performer family; her father Wayne Michaels doubled for Pierce Brosnan's James bond in Goldeneye; her mom Tracey Eddon doubled for Carrie Fisher's Leia (including that famous bikini) in Return of the Jedi.
It seems there's enough on the table for Fire & Blood to mount a suitable defense. We'll see what the jury decides.