David Copperfield takes stand in trial for magic trick accident that allegedly left man with serious brain injury

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/17/david-copperfield-takes-stand.html


The secret of his trick has got to be worth whatever money he could have settled for. The real magic here is that Copperfield seems to age in reverse. He’s like Merlyn in Once and future King, or a televangelist.


I think Copperfield should cough up. And then make the moolah instantly disappear.


Spoiler warning. Jeez.


As a British tourist, I can understand him racking up some bills getting emergency treatment in the US, but the brain lesion seems like it requires long term care. Wouldn’t that have been covered by the UK public health service?


I would have thought incidents like this were covered by the venue’s insurance, and/or the performer’s.

Maybe if the case goes in favor of the plaintiff, Copperfield’s insurance would take the hit?


I would have thought so too. The NHS does have the power to claim costs of treatment from insurers in some cases (road traffic accidents are one) so perhaps it’s that.


Eh, fuck Copperfield anway, he’s a creep.

1 Like

“It’s an illusion, Michael.”


So it’s all just a system of tubes.

1 Like


…based on?

Isn’t this exactly why these shows have insurance? Why wouldn’t that cover his bills?

1 Like

When he’d come to Cleveland he’d take an old friend of mine out. I won’t go into details because it’s not my story, but she was 16 when this started. So yeah. Creep.

No allegations of criminal shit, just gross


The issues in dispute appear to be:

a) causation (why did he fall, are his injuries due to his fall?)
b) liability (who is responsible for his fall/injuries?)
c) the extent of his injuries and the financial loss he’s suffered;
d) should there be punitive damages.

None of the various possible insurers will hand out a blank cheque for medical treatment (although they might well cover treatment by way of interim payments in cases where it’s accepted that they are going to pay out in the end).

In this case you’ve got so many entities that might be at fault.

Is it Copperfield/his company who set up the performance? Is it the hotel which was in charge of the premises? Is it both? Is it neither?



The NHS and DWP have been underfunded for so long that they are barely surviving. They’re still better than the alternative, but need a massive increase in funding.

The laughter seems to be passing now.


1 Like

so. . . does anyone have any idea how plausible that a slip & fall accident leads directly to a brain lesion? That sounds exceedingly weird

I was all ready to hate on this trick for being so dangerous that it gave a participant brain damage, but it sounds like the guy just tripped and fell and has an exceptionally aggressive lawyer.

Also, how do you keep a trick’s secret if you’re showing how it works to a dozen randos from the audience every night?

wait, wait, I have a theory that answers both the brain damage and the secrecy questions

1 Like

Well since “brain lesion” just means “some form of brain injury”, sure that’s quite possible.

Did this particular fall lead to this guy’s injury? Only medical experts can give their opinion and the poor judge has to decide.

The question is why did he trip? The allegation seems to be that “the trick” involved a bunch of more or less randomly chosen people (so all possible levels of health and agility) being required to run en masse down a dark, debris-strewn corridor without any preparation - thereby being inherently unsafe.

If so and if someone falls and injures themselves as a result, the organiser is on the hook for the losses. If the injury is catastrophic, that’s going to be a lot.

In this case, the claimant was apparently a fairly good chef and claims to have lost his sense of taste as a result of the accident. If true, that’s his career gone. A fairly large amount of compensation might be in order.

But yes, his lawyer does seem like the exact thing non-Americans think of when we think of US lawyers. :slight_smile:

1 Like