June 29, 2009

French film co. ruled at fault in death

French filmmaker Luc Besson's EuropaCorp must pay a $140,000 fine for the involuntary manslaughter of a cameraman, a Paris court has ruled.

Cameraman Alain Dutartre, 41, was killed in 1999 during the filming of a car chase sequence for the movie Taxi 2. Courts had earlier found that the movie's chief stuntman, Remy Julienne, was responsible for Dutartre's death, but the cameraman's parents appealed, saying EuropaCorp also shared responsibility, Variety reported Monday.

The Court of Appeals agreed, saying, Representatives of the company tried to reduce costs, which led them to refuse the budget proposed by Remy Julienne to carry out preliminary tests to prepare for the car chase scenes, the publication reported.

The appellate court, in addition to instituting a fine for Besson's company, reduced Julienne's sentence from an 18-month suspended sentence to six months and cut his fine from $18,000 to $2,800 but he was ordered to pay $85,000 the Dutartre family's court costs, Variety said.