A stuntman hurt during the Sydney filming of Hollywood movie Mission Impossible: II was told of his $1 million damages win just hours before dying of cancer.
In the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Peter McClellan said he agreed to the damages payout in his chambers at 10.40am (AEDT) last Friday, shortly before Mark Joseph Connolly died at 2pm.
Outside court, his grieving brother, Sean Connolly, said: "He was the best and he hung in there so that others could benefit. That was Mark."
The 45-year-old stuntman's lawyer, Alan Conolly, said his client had been told of the win not long before his death.
"He was too sick really to have a reaction but he knew, of course, he was greatly relieved," he said.
Mr Connolly sued Paramount Pictures second director Billy Burton over severe injuries, including to his neck and left side, that he suffered in June 1999 on the set of the movie that starred Tom Cruise.
The judge said the experienced stuntman was engaged in his first big break in the film industry when he was knocked over by an airborne motorcycle during filming.
After concluding Mr Burton had "breached his duty of care" to the stuntman, the judge said he sent his draft reasons to the parties last Wednesday.
He was aware of Mr Connolly's "failing health" - he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May - and wanted the case disposed of this year.
The draft resulted in the parties agreeing to final figures totalling $1,018,253 and the judge finalised his orders on Friday morning.
He found the demands of Mr Burton had "created the danger" to the stuntman, noting the bike veered out of control earlier that day and its rider was lucky not to have been hurt.
Mr Connolly and another "guard" had been directed to face away from the bike and fire blank shots from a pistol at a helicopter hovering nearby.
Normally the safety officer was responsible for the safety of a sequence, but the judge said Mr Burton "took control of the set".
After the morning incident, the director repositioned Mr Connolly so that unless a visual cue was given at precisely the right time, it was highly likely he would be injured.
"When he raised concerns about his safety Mr Burton, already exasperated by the day's events, effectively ignored them," the judge said.
"At the very least, Mr Burton should have required a rehearsal so that cueing signals and the timing of movements in a safe manner could be practised.
"His determination to capture some footage from what would otherwise have been a wasted day made this impossible."
Previously very fit with a strong physique, the accident left Mr Connolly with continuous pain and the "loss of his hoped-for career as a stuntman", significantly affecting his sense of well being.
Outside court, his lawyer, Mr Conolly, said the case was important for safety on film sets.
He also said the $1 million award was "a much reduced verdict", given that the judge was aware of the lack of potential future earnings by Mr Connolly.