Trial begins in civil case concentrated on David Copperfield program

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Evan Agostini/Invision/ AP In this Nov. 6, 2017, file photo, magician David Copperfield participates in the 14th Yearly CFDA Style Fund Gala in New York.

Friday, April 13, 2018|9:55 p.m.

LAS VEGAS– The tricks behind a vanishing act that magician David Copperfield performed for many years in Las Vegas were exposed in court Friday, the very first day of trial in a civil case brought by a British traveler who claims he slipped, fell and was injured after he was randomly chosen from the audience to participate in the program.

Attorneys for traveler Gavin Cox, Copperfield, the MGM Grand casino-resort, which hosts the program, and others detailed the route that arbitrarily picked audience members follow during the technique in which Copperfield supposedly makes them vanish from a platform on phase and gets them to reappear in the back of the theater.

Cox was injured along the path in a 2013 show.

Lawyer Benedict Morelli, who represents Cox and his other half, told the jury during opening statements that the illusion called the Thirteen was “a mishap waiting to occur” and “obviously dangerous.” He included that his customer was never alerted about a possible injury if he took part in the illusion.

” Rather the contrary, he and possibly all the other individuals had an expectation of safety,” Morelli stated. “So, Mr. Cox (stated) ‘OK. I guess I’m going to be OKAY. Why would David Copperfield, who is so well-known, choose me and not secure me?'”

Cox filed the claim in 2014 months after he was randomly picked to participate in the final technique of Copperfield’s show on Nov. 12, 2013.

Attorneys on Friday explained how Cox rested on a platform on stage and later on followed a path 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 doesn’t get to see the “mayhem” going on behind the scenes, where people are hurried. He said a confluence of events triggered his customer to fall and be injured– running in a dark location, following an unidentified path, encountering an unidentified incline, and dust and debris due to building and construction in the location.

MGM Grand’s lawyer Jerry Popovich told the jury that Cox just missed a step when he fell and did not slip. He explained that the website where the accident occurred, about 22 feet prior to reaching the door to re-enter the gambling establishment, is basically level with just a 1-degree drop.

Popovich said that 10 minutes before Cox decreased, Copperfield had actually walked through that exact same area as part of another illusion that did not involve audience participation. He said Copperfield would have notified personnel if he had actually observed any issue in the route.

” Mr. Cox did not slip, he tripped,” Popovich stated.

Cox in his lawsuit argues he has actually invested more than $400,000 on medical care and treatment. He, his other half and children were in the courtroom. So was Copperfield.

The attorneys for Copperfield and MGM Grand sought to keep opening declarations, closing arguments and other parts of the trial where the details of the magician’s illusions were gone over near the general public and the media.

They argued that those are considered trade secrets, however Cox’s lawyer argued individuals other than Copperfield, including previous audience participants, understand what is associated with carrying out the technique.

The judge agreed the complainants.

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