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Magician David Copperfield found not liable for British tourist's injuries

A jury in Las Vegas found magician David Copperfield negligent but not financially liable for a British tourist's inj...

Posted: May 30, 2018 11:51 AM
Updated: May 30, 2018 11:51 AM

A jury in Las Vegas found magician David Copperfield negligent but not financially liable for a British tourist's injuries during one of his vanishing acts in 2013.

Gavin Cox is 100% liable for his own injuries, a jury found late Tuesday night, according to the Clark County District Court documents.

The tourist took part in the magician's signature disappearing trick, and said he suffered brain injuries when he fell during the performance.

The jury ruled the five parties named in the lawsuit -- including Copperfield -- were all 0% responsible for the injuries. Cox was "100% " responsible for his injuries, it said.

The trick

Cox was taking part in an illusion trick that makes 13 random audience members disappear on stage.

As part of the trick, Copperfield randomly picks participants by throwing 13 balls into the audience and the volunteers are placed in a cage that hovers over the stage. The illusionist then reveals the 13 at the back of the room.

Cox took part in the trick, and says he suffered brain damage after he tripped backstage and fell into a dark construction zone. The multimillion-dollar lawsuit he filed a year after the incident not only named Copperfield, but also MGM Grand Hotel and at least three other companies connected to the show.

Attorneys respond

During the trial, Copperfield told the court Cox participated in the trick, referred to as the "vanishing crowd or Lucky 13," and ran the course with no problems.

Copperfield's attorney, Elaine Fresch, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it was the "the right verdict" in "a very important trial." The newspaper reported that Cox's wife passed out after the verdict was read and later left the courtroom with her husband without talking to reporters. It said Cox's attorney, Benedict Morelli, told the jury that several factors led to his injuries, including being forced to run up a ramp in the dark.

During the trial, Copperfield testified that he found out about the injury a year later, and said he has not performed the routine since 2015, according to the paper.

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