Personal injury cases happen to everyone, including celebrities. Though the parties involved can be tight-lipped about the legal proceedings themselves, news sources still manage to dig up interesting information about these cases. From falling through trapdoors to getting hit with falling backdrops, celebrities and those close to them have suffered some serious injuries in the pursuit of fame.
In 2008, a cast member of the Broadway performance of “The Little Mermaid” fell through a trapdoor. Adrian Bailey, the injured party, broke his back, pelvis, sternum, wrists, and foot. He said that there weren’t warnings about the trapdoor, which could have prevented him falling through. Lawyers filed several lawsuits, including one against Nicson, the manufacturer of the automated trapdoor, and one against Disney. Nicson was found not liable because “human error” and not a design defect was the reason the trapdoor was open.
Brett Michaels vs. CBS
In 2011, Brett Michaels, lead singer of the band Poison, sued CBS and the Tony Awards for an injury he sustained during a show in 2009. During the Tony Awards that year, he was exiting the stage at Radio City Music Hall, and a backdrop came down on his head. Michaels ended up with three stitches in his lip and a broken nose.
He said that, though he asked for details on how to exit the stage, he didn’t have the right information, which is why the backdrop came down on him. In 2010, Michaels had a brain hemorrhage and felt the 2009 injury was part of the cause. Neither party in the lawsuit would give details about the settlement, but The New York Times reported in 2012 that the resolution was amicable.
Phil McGraw vs. Janet Harris
Talk show personality Phil McGraw, better known as Dr. Phil, ended up embroiled in a personal injury case thanks to his dog. Janet Harris, a good friend of the doctor and his wife at the time, got bit by their dog. The bite was serious enough to require antibiotics, thanks to a significant infection. Her lawyers claimed that the bite damaged her hand, and her bad reaction to the antibiotics caused a hand tremor and hearing loss. The McGraws allege the bite wasn’t that serious. Right now McGraw’s lawyers are calling for the case to be dismissed.
James Marshall vs. Accutane Manufacturer Hoffman-LaRoche
90s actor from “A Few Good Men” and “Twin Peaks” sued Accutane maker Hoffman-LaRoche in 2006. The actor began taking Accutane in 1993, and shortly after developed ulcerative colitis. In 1995, he had to have part of his colon removed. Though the actor’s career was ruined by his disease, the jury decided Hoffman-LaRoche wasn’t liable because Marshall had a previous health condition that could have resulted in his ulcerative colitis.
Being famous doesn’t guarantee your lawsuit has a favorable outcome, as some of these celebrities learned. Fame also doesn’t protect you from personal injury in the first place. Thankfully most of us aren’t at risk for falling through trap doors or getting hit with set scenery—what a story that would be! If you do ever find yourself on the receiving end of a personal injury, call 1-800-ASK-FREE (275-3733) for a free consultation with the professionals at David W. Singer & Associates, P.A.