Las Vegas illusionist David Copperfield in court for 2013 lawsuit


Attorneys gave opening statements in a civil trial against David Copperfield and the MGM Friday. An audience member is suing Copperfield after he said he was hurt during one of his illusions in 2013.

The man suing Copperfield is Gavin Cox. He was on vacation and at a Copperfield show when he was selected to participate in one of Copperfield’s illusions called “The 13 illusion.” In this act, Copperfield makes it look like a group of audience members disappears, and reappears in another section of the theater.

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Cox’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, addressed the jury. He explained that during the trick, Cox was rushed through a passageway by MGM staff that they call “the dragon.” He says during that run, it was dark, there were many turns, and it was complete chaos. He says Cox slipped and fell as he came around a corner and started going up an unanticipated incline. That fall resulted in a traumatic brain injury.

“They were negligent. That negligence caused Mr. Cox’s accident and they’re responsible to him 100 percent,” Morelli said to the jury.

Lawyers for MGM and Copperfield said it’s unfortunate that Cox fell, but said they’re not responsible. They said they have evidence that will show Cox tripped and did not slip.

“If it was a trip and fall, what we’re talking about is an accident that is either Mr. Cox’s fault or nobody’s fault,” MGM lawyer Jerry Popovich said to the jury.

Executive producer of Backstage Employment Chris Kenner testified for almost eight hours Tuesday. Copperfield was expected to take the stand Wednesday or next Tuesday.

Cox was also expected to testify.

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