The mother of actor Jon-Erik Hexum, who was killed when he fired a blank cartridge into his head Oct. 12, has filed suit against the makers of his TV series, charging that her son should have been warned that even blank cartridges can be dangerous.
In the suit filed July 22 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Gretha Hexum of Van Nuys charged 20th Century Fox Television and Glenn Larson Productions with wrongful death and negligence.
Hexum, 27, was fatally injured while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 magnum revolver on the set of the series "Coverup." He pulled the trigger with the muzzle against his temple. The pistol was a prop for the action series.
The cartridge fired a wad of paper that drove a quarter-sized piece of his skull into his brain, causing a massive hemorrhage. The wad replaces a bullet in a blank cartridge.
"Somebody should have seen to it that whoever was using that gun was given instructions about its dangers," said Haskell Shapiro, Gretha Hexum's attorney. "He just playfully put the gun to his head, pulled the trigger and that was it."
The suit did not ask for a specific dollar amount of damages, but says Hexum was his mother's sole support.
A spokesman for 20th Century Fox said it was company policy to refuse comment on any litigation.