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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » David Copperfield Being Sued (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

David Bilan
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Sad story of an audience member who claims he was injured while volunteering for a Copperfield performance.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-......ods.html
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
ThSecret
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Sad is right. I guess it really comes down to, if there there negligence on Copperfield's part that caused this incident, or if the spectator simply happened to slip or lose his footing. Is the spectators parkinson's a result of his injuries, can that even be proved?

Is it a cash grab because Copperfield has a large net worth? Well He worked hard to achieve what he has. Is the plaintiff right for suing, considering his life has been turned upside down, he is now living in hell. Or do we chalk this up to a simple "freak accident"?

What is terribly wrong in the situation, is the plaintiff's blind rage, that he wants to "expose" the effect, more than likely out of spite/revenge. What does that accomplish for him, literally nothing. What he really needs to do is decide what he really wants (media exposure - probably not, money - probably - how much?) in this situation, if he actually has a case.

Imo. Copperfield probably has a really good lawyer, and will more than likely be in the clear, or at most pay minimal punitive damages to the plaintiff.
"A play does not take place on stage but in the minds of the spectators."
LobowolfXXX
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Not punitive damages; it varies from state to state, but punitive damages are unusual in personal injury cases, and generally stem from gross negligence of willful misconduct.. and when they're awarded, they aren't minimal, because by definition, their purpose is to deter future misconduct.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
ThSecret
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I am le Canadian Smile. But yes, you are correct with the use of the term. I should have discluded that word.
"A play does not take place on stage but in the minds of the spectators."
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On Mar 15, 2017, ThSecret wrote:
I am le Canadian Smile. But yes, you are correct with the use of the term. I should have discluded that word.


Typically, any conceivable measure of damages is listed in a complaint - you don't ask, you don't get. But "punitive damages" is a legal term of art (as Mr. Cox's lawyer surely knows), and it's almost inconceivable to me that they'd apply in a case like this. On the other hand, if liability is established, the actual damages, which include pain & suffering and lost wages in addition to medical expenses, could be quite high.

A very small percentage of cases files actually make it to trial; I would certainly expect this one to be settled, which I suspect is the plaintiff's motivation in discussing the revelation of Copperfield's methodology in court.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
0pus
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It seems to me that the news story was based on information fed to the Mail by plaintiff's lawyer. The slip and fall "in a dimly lit area" is designed to suggest at least negligence on the part of the magician or the venue, and the allegations that

Quote:
Mr Copperfield looked at me and smirked. He just walked away. He never showed any concern for me.


are designed to show at least reckless indifference on the part of the magician (which could translate into possible punitive damages).
0pus
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A Magic Café member who shall remain nameless provided the following:

Quote:
If I recall that routine correctly (saw it in 2003), David is at stage front (and not behind the curtain) engaging the audience and instructing the participants to shine their flashlights at the screen/curtain. For my show they appeared in the balcony to my left while David was still on the stage.

If this is the same routine then it was not possible for David to 'smirk' at someone falling backstage.


This may accurately describe what went on here. The quote from the Mail in my post above may be posturing, and entirely fabricated (or describe the reactions of a venue employee, not the magician).

I confess that without more, I do find it hard to believe that Mr. Copperfield left the stage in the course of this trick.
MJE
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The sensationalist angle of this story borders on the humorous. They are saying that the world will be terribly shaken up by exposing the method of a magic trick. Yet, there's this quote:

"Copperfield's lawyer, Theodore Blumberg, said the trick in question 'has been performed for more than 15 years and with more than 100,000 participants."

So, 100,000 people have already learned the secret, along with however many friends and family they told. I have to wonder if the few remaining people on the planet are going to really care all that much. But then.....this is the Daily Mail.
Slim King
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Sounds like a blackmail attempt .." Pay us or we will expose the trick!!!!!" .... Well... The effect is no longer in the show. So that won't work... The slip and fall guy went to the hospital immediately after the show but he'd finished the illusion with everyone else first? This has been in litigation for almost 4 years now. Did the volunteer sign a disclaimer? Lot's of unanswered questions. I know one thing... David Copperfield takes every performance seriously. He leavers nothing to chance. He is the ultimate professional. I'd doubt that any back stage area on any stage is brightly lit ..just doesn't happen. (Maybe there's an exception but I've never seen one) So there is no expectation that it would be well lit.... I honestly doubt this gets much traction ..... I'd like a few more facts.... The Punative damages angle is pointless. If dozens of others have been injured or are at risk maybe .. but that certainly isn't the case here....
Seems that the victim had a dislocated shoulder ... Stayed in Las vegas for another three weeks and then flew home to the UK ... A few months later they flew back to Las Vegas saying they could not get timely treatment with their medical waiting lists in that country ... I wonder why they picked Vegas to return to for medical treatment??? Sounds fishy to me .....
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS
Micheal Leath
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Quote:
On Mar 16, 2017, 0pus wrote:
A Magic Café member who shall remain nameless provided the following:

Quote:
If I recall that routine correctly (saw it in 2003), David is at stage front (and not behind the curtain) engaging the audience and instructing the participants to shine their flashlights at the screen/curtain. For my show they appeared in the balcony to my left while David was still on the stage.

If this is the same routine then it was not possible for David to 'smirk' at someone falling backstage.


This may accurately describe what went on here. The quote from the Mail in my post above may be posturing, and entirely fabricated (or describe the reactions of a venue employee, not the magician).

I confess that without more, I do find it hard to believe that Mr. Copperfield left the stage in the course of this trick.


Yes, during the illusion DC is out on stage. However, if what I have read online is correct, after the routine he goes back and talks to the participants.
The great Gumbini
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I've had the pleasure of meeting David Copperfield three times. He has always been nothing more than cordual and polite. If he would know someone was hurt he or his staff would attend to them right away. As far as telling secrets goes, if I remember correctly everyone signs a form agreeing to keep the secret. Now in court it is a different story. But he has attorneys who will know what to do and I have a feeling this may be resolved by agreement. It is sad when something like this happens and let's face it it is a risk.

Good magic to all,


Eric
motivationalmagic
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After the show is over, that is when DC meets with the volunteers used in this routine to thank them for their participation in the effect. He reminds them that they have signed a confidentiality agreement. He also tells them that magicians will approach them and try to con them to get the secret of how the effect works.
Motivational Magic
"The Magician on a Mission to Motivate"
www.MotivationalMagic.com
LesPaltaX
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There's a BigThink video where Penn Jillette says that one of the things he's most proud of, is that in 15 years of carreer with Teller, noone has ever been seriously injured.
I wish justice is done, whatever that means (we don't know real reason behind the sue).

Have there been news about this?
pepka
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Many years ago, I was actually called onstage for 13. I caught one of the balls and as I went onstage, I was asked, "Are you a member of the media, are you an attorney, are you a magician?" I said yes. Immediately David grabbed me by the arm and pulled me to the side. 13 volunteers, 15 balls. Homer directed us to sit on bar stools and watch. As the platform was raised, he took us behind it and I knew they were gone already. And they reappear in just a few seconds so yeah, I'm sure they're really hauling *** to get to the back of the theater.
Jack Skipton
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Brings to mind a story I heard Chuck Fayne tell about someone suing for slipping in woofle dust.
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