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Trial begins in civil case focused on David Copperfield show

Trial begins in civil case focused on David Copperfield show
From CBC - April 14, 2018

The tricks behind a disappearing act that magician David Copperfield performed for years in Las Vegas were revealed in court Friday, the first day of trial in a civil case brought by a British tourist who claims he slipped, fell and was injured after he was randomly selected from the audience to participate in the show.

Attorneys for tourist Gavin Cox, Copperfield, the MGM Grand casino-resort, which hosts the show, and others detailed the route that randomly selected audience members follow during the trick in which Copperfield supposedly makes them disappear from a platform on stage and gets them to reappear in the back of the theater.

Cox was injured along the route in a 2013 show.

Attorney Benedict Morelli, who represents Cox and his wife, told the jury during opening statements that the illusion known as the Thirteen was "an accident waiting to happen" and "obviously dangerous." He added that his client was never warned about a possible injury if he participated in the illusion.

"Quite the contrary, he and possibly all of the other participants had an expectation of safety," Morelli said. "So, Mr. Cox (said) 'OK. I guess I am going to be OK. Why would David Copperfield, who is so famous, select me and not protect me?'"

Behind closed doors

Cox filed the lawsuit in 2014 months after he was randomly selected to participate in the final trick of Copperfield's show on Nov. 12, 2013.

Lawyers on Friday described how Cox sat on a platform on stage and later followed a route that took him through hallways and an outdoor area near a door that would have led him back inside. But it was at that point when he hit the floor.

Morelli argued that the audience does not get to see the "chaos" going on behind the scenes, where people are hurried. He said a confluence of events caused his client to fall and be injuredrunning in a dark area, following an unknown route, encountering an unknown incline, and dust and debris due to construction in the area.

'Tripped' vs. slipped

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