It’s No Illusion: Doctors Aren’t the Only People Sued for Negligence

Published on April 19th, 2018

It’s No Illusion: Doctors Aren’t the Only People Sued for Negligence

David Copperfield is a famous illusionist. But even he can’t escape a magic trick gone wrong. A negligence lawsuit against the magician heated up in court this week, with testimony being heard from Copperfield himself and the executive producer of his show as they defended themselves against claims that an audience member suffered injuries while participating in an illusion.negligence lawsuit

Breaching or falling short of fulfilling a legal obligation is considered negligence, such as a doctor failing to keep a patient healthy, a driver failing to follow the rules of the road, a homeowner failing to keep their property clear of debris, or a magician neglecting to take precautions for and protect his audience members. Negligence can turn into a civil lawsuit or criminal charges, depending on the circumstances.

The David Copperfield Negligence Lawsuit

Most audience members at a Las Vegas magic show would consider it great fun to be selected to take part in an illusion. A British man claims, however, that he was badly hurt during a David Copperfield show in 2013 in which he was randomly chosen to participate in a popular trick. The signature Copperfield illusion, referred to as “the runaround,” was used regularly to close the magician’s show. About a dozen audience members were selected to participate, and “vanished” together onstage only to reappear at the back of the theater during the finale.

The chosen people were hurriedly escorted through unfamiliar passageways, dark areas, around corners, and over changing floor surfaces, both indoors and outdoors. The audience members were not assessed for their physical fitness nor was their footwear evaluated before they were selected to quickly walk and run as instructed. The participants had no awareness of the activity they would be undertaking until they were ushered in a labyrinthine way throughout the theater and surrounding area.

While media reports of this case have focused on how this negligence lawsuit has forced the public reveal of the secret behind the success of this illusion, the real story is in the damage the trick allegedly caused for an innocent audience member.

Proving Negligence

Negligence lawsuit cases often come down to “he said, she said.” In this instance, Copperfield’s attorney told the jury that if there were a problem with the route – which the magician walked alone shortly before his audience members during another trick in the show – he would have alerted the stagehands immediately. This doesn’t mean the route wasn’t hazardous. But Copperfield would be the person most familiar with the area – if something were wrong, he would presumably know.

In this case, it will need to be proven that Copperfield had a legal duty to keep the guests of his show safe, that he failed in this obligation, and that a guest – Gavin Cox, a resident of Kent, England –  suffered injuries as a direct result of the illusion in which he was chosen to take part.

Cox claims he slipped and fell during the runaround, and the brain injury and bodily injuries he endured from have cost him over $400,000 in medical care. Cox’s attorney says the illusion was “an accident waiting to happen” and put audience participants in danger because of how it was arranged.

Get Justice for Suffering Caused by Negligence

Copperfield testified in court that he didn’t know Cox had been injured in the illusion until he was sued. He said it “might” be his fault if he “did something wrong.” Lack of awareness, however, is no excuse for negligence. And this knowledge, or lack thereof, applies in all manner of negligence lawsuit cases.

Many times, the injured party chooses not to file a claim against someone because “they didn’t know” or “it wasn’t their fault.” Liability, though, can fall in many places, and if you are suffering life-changing aftereffects because of negligence, justice should be sought. Cox is not only suing Copperfield, but also the show’s producer, a construction firm working in the area, and the host of the show, MGM Grand.

If you suspect that injuries you have suffered were the direct result of negligence, contact Thurswell Law for a free consultation to discuss your case. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today.

Back to News

(248) 354-2222
1000 Town Center, Suite 500 Southfield, MI 48075
Have a question? Contact Us for Free Case Consultation GET STARTED NOW!