Jurors will hear closing arguments in the David Copperfield civil trial. Can the legal team for plaintiff Gavin Cox prove that the magician (born David S. Kotin) is responsible for an alleged slip and fall at a show in November 2013? Or can the defense conjure up a victory?
Cox said he was a huge fan of both magic and Copperfield, so when he was in Las Vegas for his birthday, he went to a show at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino with his wife Minh-Hahn Cox. There, he and 12 other audience members were chosen for the crowd-pleasing disappearing act “Lucky 13.” Cox and his wife both testified that he gladly participated, but he claimed to have tripped in a backstage area due to cement dust. Mrs. Cox testified that when she reunited with her husband after the trick, she saw that he was covered in dust, and was visibly distraught. She took pictures of him, including his feet.
The hotel and the construction team are co-defendants in the lawsuit. The plaintiff said they and Copperfield should have done a better job making sure the area was clear and safe for audience members. During opening statements, however, MGM’s attorney said Cox didn’t fall due to negligence by the defendants, but because Cox missed a step.
Copperfield and his executive producer Chris Kenner both testified that they were unaware of anyone being injured during the trick prior to Cox’s allegation. Meanwhile, the defense called witnesses in a bid to prove that the trick actually has a history of problems. Schoolteacher Amy Lawrence testified that she fell in June 2013, and claimed she wasn’t asked to fill out an incident report. Patricia Esack, testified via videotaped deposition that she fell and broke her wrist while participating in the Lucky 13 trick in 2002. Copperfield was aware of this, she said. He called the hospital to reach her, but they never spoke after her mother picked up the phone and chewed him out.
[Screengrab via KSNV]