LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada jury heard a schoolteacher’s account on Monday of falling and skinning her knee while stagehands urged her to run as she took part in a signature David Copperfield vanishing act at a Las Vegas show.
The fall took place just months before a British tourist claims he was seriously injured while participating in the show — a mishap that led him to file a lawsuit that is now being tried in Las Vegas.
“I turned the corner. The man at the corner says, ‘Don’t trip,'” Amy Lawrence of Kalamazoo, Michigan, testified in the case. “I immediately tripped.”
The testimony by Lawrence came after Copperfield and the show’s executive producer, Chris Kenner, told jurors last week that they never knew of anyone being hurt during the more than 15 years the trick was performed in Las Vegas and other cities.
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Lawrence testified by videotape that the fall occurred a little more than a minute after she and 12 other people seemed to disappear from a curtained set onstage.
She said she got right back up after the fall and hid her bleeding left knee behind her right leg when the people seemingly “reappeared” waving flashlights in the back of an MGM Grand theater.
“I didn’t even consider stopping and evaluating my injury,” she said.
Lawrence said she remembered being told as she ran that group members had 48 seconds to get where they were going.
Two apparent backstage staffers asked afterward if she was hurt, and Lawrence said at least one other person associated with the show talked with her after her fall in June 2013. But no one offered a bandage or asked her to fill out an accident report.
“Nope,” she said in her taped deposition. “Not even a Band-Aid.”
Five months later, Gavin Cox claims he fell and was badly injured while he and about 10 audience volunteers were hurried by stagehands off-stage, through indoor hallways and an outdoor alleyway so they could “reappear” for the show finale.
Cox claims he fell after being hustled through an alleyway coated with a powdery residue near a trailer-sized trash bin.
The United Kingdom citizen from Kent and his wife are suing for negligence and damages. He claims he has had more than $400,000 in medical expenses due to lasting brain and body injuries.
The civil trial continues Tuesday.