Paramount Pictures says it is not responsible for the death of a football player who played an extra in “The Longest Yard” because making a movie about football isn’t the same as playing the game.
“Scripted and choreographed movie football scenes take place in a controlled environment, where no actual football game is played,” the movie studio said in an eight-page Los Angeles Superior Court filing on Friday. “There was no ‘real’ football game in The Longest Yard’s fictional football game,” Paramount said of its 2005 prison comedy starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.
Paramount is seeking to strike portions of the lawsuit that accuse it of negligence and fraud tied to the 2019 death lawsuit of Darryl Hammond, who died in 2017 at the age of 49.
An autopsy of Hammond’s brain found that he had suffered 200 concussions and he was diagnosed with Stage 3 CTE, a brain disease that is widely linked to head injuries sustained playing football. Hammond’s family says that the concussions were “all from football,“ including his filming of “The Longest Yard.”
In addition to a role as a stunt double on the “The Longest Yard,” Hammond played football for 15 years in the Arena Football League and had a role in the Mark Wahlberg film “Invincible,” produced by Disney, as Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Harold Carmichael. Both Disney and Arena are also named as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hammond’s family.
In Hammond’s posthumous lawsuit, his family claimed that the repeated takes needed during the filming for the football movies contributed to the CTE and his early death. Lawyers for the family didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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