David Copperfield not financially liable for audience member's injuries during vanishing trick

An audience member had filed a negligence lawsuit against David Copperfield, saying that he was injured after taking part in a trick.
An audience member had filed a negligence lawsuit against David Copperfield, saying that he was injured after taking part in a trick.PHOTO: AFP

World famous magician David Copperfield is not financially liable for the injuries of an audience member sustained during one of his performances, a US jury has decided.

The audience member, British chef Gavin Cox, caused his own injuries during Mr Copperfield's famous vanishing act at a show in Las Vegas in 2013, according to the ruling reported by the BBC.

Mr Cox, 58, had sued Mr Copperfield after he fell during the execution of the magician's signature Lucky #13 trick.

The jury in Nevada ruled that while Mr Copperfield was negligent, he is not financially responsible for Mr Cox's injuries.

As a result, Mr Cox cannot seek financial damages from the magician.

The Briton was one of 13 random audience members who were chosen during the performance of Mr Copperfield's signature Lucky #13 illusion.

As part of the trick, participants were brought onto a platform on stage and giant curtains were flung over it, completely obscuring the participants for a few minutes, before Mr Copperfield reveals that they have "disappeared".

 
 

The big surprise lies in that when he reveals their disappearance on stage, the audience members appear to have "teleported" to the back of the room, to the astonishment of the seated audience.

Last month, Mr Copperfield was forced to reveal how the trick worked due to the negligence lawsuit filed against him by Mr Cox.

Stagehands would carry torchlights and guide the 13 participants off the stage through dark, hidden passageways. They would then exit and re-enter the building, and re-enter the theatre through the back.

Mr Cox had claimed that the passageways were filled with dust and debris, and fell during the dash.

He was taken to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder, and claimed that he later suffered chronic pain. Doctors also found a lesion on his brain.

His lawyer said he had spent more than US$400,000 (S$537,000) on medical bills.