Magician David Copperfield Found Negligent but Not Responsible After Tourist Fell During Trick
Gavin Cox was taking part in Copperfield's disappearing act when he suffered brain and body injuries.
David Copperfield has been found negligent but not liable in a civil suit filed by a fan who said he was injured while participating in the magician's Las Vegas act.
After a trial that required Copperfield to reveal to the world how he pulls off his famous trick, Copperfield and his four fellow defendants were found not financially responsible for injuries sustained by British tourist Gavin Cox.
Instead, court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price said jurors found Cox "100 percent" responsible for brain and body injuries he said he sustained in a fall during a 2013 performance, The Associated Press reported.
Cox's attorney had alleged that Copperfield and the other defendants were at least partially financially responsible because they knew of the inherent danger of the trick.
Cox was such a fan of the magician that he flew from his hometown of London to Las Vegas to see Copperfield's act on his birthday, and ended up taking part in one of his tricks.
It begins with Copperfield throwing 13 silver balls into the audience. The people who catch them are called to the stage, where they're suspended in a box.
A curtain drops and when it's pulled back again, they have all disappeared. They then reappear in the rear of the theater.
On the stand, Copperfield revealed that stagehands holding flashlights rush everyone out of the box. The fans are swiftly taken backstage through winding passages before re-entering the theater where Copperfield performs.
In court, the fans were shown outside the MGM before re-entering the theater where Copperfield was performing.
"It was total pandemonium," Cox, 58, said. "You don't know where you are going. It's dark. There are hands pushing you on your back."
He claimed he fell into a construction zone and hit his head. He said he has had three neck surgeries since the accident and still needs assistance walking.
Copperfield testified that he never knew of anyone else getting hurt during nearly 20 years performing the trick on tour and in Las Vegas.
Copperfield had not yet commented publicly as of Wednesday morning. His attorney, Elaine Fresch, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal it was "the right verdict" in "a very important trial."
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