One of the most famous magicians in the world, David Copperfield, has denied responsibility for a British audience member’s injuries from a fall that were allegedly suffered while participating in an illusion in an MGM Grand alley in Las Vegas. Copperfield testified that if an audience participant did get hurt as a result of something he did wrong when performing, fault would be attributable to him, but he did not acknowledge liability in the case. Copperfield further testified that he never even knew that the man claimed injuries until a year later when he was sued.
The British tourist claimed that he and 12 other randomly selected audience members had apparently vanished onstage. They were led by stagehands with flashlights through curtains and hallways, outside to an alley and inside again through a hotel kitchen in order to seemingly reappear in the theater for Copperfield’s last illusion of his performance. The flooring on the route was said to consist of changing surfaces like linoleum, tile, cement and carpet. Some of the route was said to be covered in construction dust.
According to the bostonglobe.com, Copperfield’s legal team brought a pretrial motion to close part of the trial to the general public on the basis that he would be giving away performance secrets. That motion was denied. A mere 10 minutes before the plaintiff allegedly fell, Copperfield himself used the same route in a different illusion, but that illusion didn’t involve audience participation. An attorney for MGM Grand stated that had Copperfield discovered an unsafe condition along the route, he would have notified stagehands of it. Neither Copperfield nor his staff inquired into what type of footwear the participants were wearing before the alleged accident.
The plaintiff claims that he has suffered permanent brain and other personal injuries as a result of his fall. He is also claiming in excess of $400,000 in medical expenses. The jury in the case has yet to be sent out to render a verdict. Copperfield remains one of the highest paid performers in the world.