The widow of a welder killed in March on the set of the Columbia Pictures' would-be blockbuster filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Wednesday against the studio. Deborah Holcombe seeks undisclosed damages for her "loss of love, comfort, society and support," according to Los Angeles Superior Court documents.
Construction worker Tim Holcombe, 45, of Monrovia, California, died March 6 while helping to erect a fašade of a 1930s-style building on the set in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey.
A crane lifting a metal cage toppled over on its side and smashed into the platform on which Holcombe and another welder were working. While his partner escaped injury, Holcombe was struck in the head by the cage and died instantly.
Last month, California's Occupational Safety and Health division slapped Sony with $59,000 in fines after safety regulators determined poor engineering and various safety-code violations were to blame for the man's death.
A rep for Columbia declined to discuss the suit, saying the studio doesn't comment on pending litigation, but the studio's parent company, Sony, did release a statement after the incident saying it deeply regretted the tragedy. Another company named in the suit, Ingersoll-Rand, which was responsible for manufacturing some of the equipment used by the workers, also refused to answer inquiries.
Holcombe's death hasn't been the only behind-the-scenes trouble on Spider-Man. Just a month after the welder's death, a stuntman doubling for the film's star, Tobey Maguire, crashed into a wall in a stunt gone awry and fractured his leg.
Spider-Man, directed by Sam Raimi and featuring Maguire as both the famous webslinger and his nerdy alter ego, Peter Parker, is the first movie adaptation of Marvel's signature superhero. The film, expected to be one of next year's most anticipated movies, is slated for release in summer 2002.
The film has also been affected by last week's deadly terrorist attacks.
In the wake of the disaster, Columbia yanked the Spider-Man trailer from theaters and the Internet because it showed the hero catching two bank robbers by stretching a giant web between the now-demolished Twin Towers. The studio also pulled promotion posters showing the World Trade Center reflected in Spidey's eyes.