Copperfield Trial Over. Plaintiff Loses.

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Richard Kaufman
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Copperfield Trial Over. Plaintiff Loses.

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 29th, 2018, 11:00 pm

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Roger M. » May 30th, 2018, 12:50 am

And justice is properly served.

Some folks want the rest of the world to be 100% responsible for everything and anything that happens to them the minute they set foot outside of their house.

Copperfield's stagehands (and by extension, Copperfield) shouldn't be yelling "run, run, run" at a bunch of folks about whom they have no knowledge of their physical or mental abilities ... but - doing so certainly isn't criminal or worthy of a financial reward from an audience member who makes a personal choice to run faster than a speed at which they can maintain their balance.

The jury was 100% correct in what is, all things considered ... a perfect verdict.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby performer » May 30th, 2018, 5:43 am

I wouldn't call it perfect. He was still found negligent. I know I wouldn't be terribly happy to be told to "run, run" through an unfamiliar area through construction. It does sound dangerous to me. And he still has to pay lawyers. And endure the stress of a trial. And it must have a negative impact on his show. And his own image. He won't be able to do that trick again, his secret is exposed. He might even have trouble getting people up to help on stage for a while.

That is what happens when you go around stealing the title of a classic book of world literature and using it as your own name. Law of Karma. In my capacity as a psychic reverend I have heard satisfied rumblings from a Mr Dickens in the spirit world.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Jack Shalom » May 30th, 2018, 7:12 am

Maybe Mr. Farmer or some other consigliere can explain to this puzzled layperson how someone can be judged negligent but not liable? It doesn't make sense to me. How can someone be negligent but not liable?

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby I.M. Magician » May 30th, 2018, 8:17 am

Doesn’t the decision mean that Copperfield was careless in having strangers run through an area but that he did not cause the guy to fall and get injured. In essence, Copperfield did not put his leg out in front of the guy causing him to trip and fall resulting in injury. Copperfield led him on a journey where injury occurred as a result.

So, negligent (careless) but not liable (the cause) for the guy’s injuries.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Edward Pungot » May 30th, 2018, 8:21 am

I'm not a lawyer but when a bunch of people volunteer for a trick, there is always an element of risk. Take the head chopper for example.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Roger M. » May 30th, 2018, 10:19 am

performer wrote:I wouldn't call it perfect. He was still found negligent.


Indeed, that was exactly my point.

Yelling "run, run, run" in and of itself implies an element of negligence, in that you have no idea what the abilities of the person you're yelling at actually are.
You're negligent in your actions, but not financially liable for the outcome of those actions.

In other words, the negligence on the part of Copperfield (through the stagehand yelling "run") was minuscule ... but it was still there.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 30th, 2018, 10:59 am

David Copperfield has not performed the illusion "13" for years.

Contrary to what Mark stated above, they most definitely were not required to expose the workings of the illusion.

Everyone who was brought up on stage was "screened" by David and the assistants. The volunteers are sized up and divided into groups. Some are left on stage to act as witnesses. Others who are deemed physically suitable (and not magicians) go into the box.

There are members of the crew with them at all times--it's not as if they were told to run down a dark hallway by themselves.

The jury may have deemed David "negligent" for not having the areas where the people were walking more brightly lit. I haven't read the verdict yet. But don't assume anything until you read the full verdict and understand it. Don't make the same stupid mistake every media outlet in the world has made--that the illusion was exposed. It wasn't. These days reportage is based on headlines that grab the attention of the reader or listener rather than the facts.

EDITED TO ADD: I just found this in a Las Vegas Review Journal article from last night, where the jury foreman is quoted (which helps explain the verdict): "The jury decided that Cox’s injuries were attributable to him by 100 percent, though they also found Copperfield and MGM negligent. Jurors believed Copperfield and MGM should have conducted more inquiry into previous falls, but they couldn’t speculate whether such inquiry would have prevented Cox’s fall, jury foreman Gerald Schaffner said after the verdict." More here: https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/cou ... fall-case/

Even at the end of the trial, NPR (on which I appeared and explained that the illusion had not been exposed), reported incorrectly that Copperfield had been forced to reveal the secret of the illusion. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way ... -magic-act This same nonsense has been repeated in virtually every media story on the trial.

This comment was posted by "T-Bone" who identifies as being from Los Angeles on the Daily Mirror online website at the end of the article in which the result of the trial was reported. The bold emphasis is mine. "I was one of the thousands that took part in this illusion. They ask you 3 questions while you stand near the stage. Are you a magician? Are you a member of the press? and are you comfortable with running? Yes, the scramble is hectic. I think more dangerous for a woman in heels. It's his final illusion and you're held in a back office as the audience leaves the arena. You're encouraged not to reveal the illusion and then in walks D.C for a meet and greet and hand out autographed pictures. Again, he stresses not to reveal the secret and goes as far as to offer up another false solution if you really can't keep your mouth closed." Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z5H00DSnQ8

Of course, "T-Bone," just like anyone else who was a volunteer for this illusion, has no idea how it works. All he knows is that he leaves the box quickly and is running somewhere else.
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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Roger M. » May 30th, 2018, 11:49 am

The only thing that was revealed in the court case was that in 2018 ... we don't yet have Star Trek transporters as a part of our daily lives.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Tom Moore » May 30th, 2018, 12:23 pm

One side effect of this has been that he has pulled all “audience member runaround” tricks from the show and I can’t see him putting them back in.

I have a couple of effects that use audience run-around and in the last year I’ve been asked more questions about them by producers / directors and I would be surprised if any of them get incorporated in to new shows going forward simply because this litigation has drawn a line in the sand and other lawyers will be looking for cases that they can push over that line.
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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Ted M » May 30th, 2018, 12:46 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Even at the end of the trial, NPR (on which I appeared and explained that the illusion had not been exposed), reported incorrectly that Copperfield had been forced to reveal the secret of the illusion. [...] This same nonsense has been repeated in virtually every media story on the trial.
[...]
Of course, "T-Bone," just like anyone else who was a volunteer for this illusion, has no idea how it works. All he knows is that he leaves the box quickly and is running somewhere else.

This is however consistent with the 90/10 rule for laypeople's perception of magic. If they know how 10% of a trick works, they will feel that the trick as a whole does not fool them, despite having no explanation for the other 90%.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Roger M. » May 30th, 2018, 1:44 pm

Personally, if I were a layman ... I'd find a magician only run-around equally as impressive as a group run-around.
I'm not sure the group adds much to a layman's take on the illusion.
I get that it's way "bigger" in scale ... but I'm talking about impact from a sheer wonder point of view as opposed to impact from massive prop size and numbers of onstage participants.

The concept of a magician only run-around usually is only dependent on some sort of very simple and frequently completely unnoticed hidey-hole device, and is much less "mechanical" looking than Copperfield's massive illusion - the sheer size of which could conceal any number of engineering delights in a laymans eyes.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 30th, 2018, 1:49 pm

To me, having the people in the box reappear in the audience was not an interesting part of the trick.

To us, the much more interesting thing is how he gets them out of the box.
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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby erdnasephile » May 30th, 2018, 1:50 pm

Roger M. wrote:The only thing that was revealed in the court case was that in 2018 ... we don't yet have Star Trek transporters as a part of our daily lives.


Exactly, but honestly--the run around thing was kind of a "How else?" (apologies to Carl Ballantine) moment. Did the general public really think it was a transporter or some superfast rocket sled?

On that note, when I eavesdropped on laypersons discussing this, no one was seemingly fooled by the moving flashlights behind the drapes. I wonder if modern audiences are conditioned to know that if a magician covers up something with an opaque cloth, what seems to be there probably isn't, regardless of all of the "proof".

I also wonder if smart audiences are starting to suspect that when a magician puts on a mask to cover his face during a grand illusion--that often means a switch is coming along the way. (I believe that Penn made that point during one of the "Fool Us" episodes.)

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Tom Moore » May 30th, 2018, 2:01 pm

Did the general public really think it was a transporter or some superfast rocket sled?


Magic exists only in the gap between what it looks like is happening and what is really happening; audiences are a lot smarter than most magicians think they are but still every magic trick in the world relies on the magician utilising a method that is slightly crazier than the method the audience imagines they’re using.
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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 30th, 2018, 3:49 pm

Please don't post things that are not relevant to the discussion at hand. Thanks.
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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Peter Ross » May 30th, 2018, 8:14 pm

“Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.”

Emphasis on Victim Loses.

Maybe I’m falling for the “scam,” as some have called it, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I believe Cox was seriously hurt. I don’t think he’s a “potato head,” or an “idiot.” I don’t think he is faking his injuries. I think he was a magic show audience member, a spectator, a person, who had an accident. A tragic one. His reaction to the verdict (captured by Genii Online) is one of complete anguish. I think Mr. Cox’s life has been and will continue to be, dramatically impacted by this accident. It is sad. And I think at least a little sympathy for the victim is in order if monetary compensation is not to be.

But hey, maybe Mr. Copperfield will send Mr. Cox a copy of “Project Magic” to help him rehabilitate from his injuries. How ironic that would be.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Roger M. » May 30th, 2018, 8:36 pm

Peter Ross wrote:“Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.”
I don’t think he is faking his injuries.


The jury certainly did, and his walking about perfectly normally when he thought there were no cameras around didn't help him any when the video footage was played back in court.

It's too bad he injured himself, but the jury found he was 100% responsible for his own injuries.
The negligence found related to a failure to fully investigate past incidences of participants falling, it really had nothing to do with this case.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 30th, 2018, 9:02 pm

Peter Ross wrote:“Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.”

Emphasis on Victim Loses.

Maybe I’m falling for the “scam,” as some have called it, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I believe Cox was seriously hurt. I don’t think he’s a “potato head,” or an “idiot.” I don’t think he is faking his injuries. I think he was a magic show audience member, a spectator, a person, who had an accident. A tragic one. His reaction to the verdict (captured by Genii Online) is one of complete anguish. I think Mr. Cox’s life has been and will continue to be, dramatically impacted by this accident. It is sad. And I think at least a little sympathy for the victim is in order if monetary compensation is not to be.

But hey, maybe Mr. Copperfield will send Mr. Cox a copy of “Project Magic” to help him rehabilitate from his injuries. How ironic that would be.


Your sarcastic comment at the end of your post does not engender sympathy for your point of view.

Regardless, I think what people are reacting to is the act of a lawsuit against someone else when the fault was one's own. There doesn't seem to be any doubt that the man was injured at some point since there is evidence to back that up. However, he seems to have undercut his own claims by "requiring help" to walk in the courtroom, and being caught on camera not requiring help outside the courtroom.

I still don't understand why, as a British citizen with full health care for free, he moved to the USA and then spent $400,000 on health care. Has anyone figured out why he moved here after he was injured? Or am I misunderstanding something.
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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby erdnasephile » May 30th, 2018, 9:23 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I still don't understand why, as a British citizen with full health care for free, he moved to the USA and then spent $400,000 on health care. Has anyone figured out why he moved here after he was injured? Or am I misunderstanding something.


Several articles have quoted him as saying the wait for services at the NHS were long so he sought his care in the US.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 30th, 2018, 10:32 pm

My understanding of NHS is that if your need is urgent (which a brain injury would be), then you are treated in short order.
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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby Marco Pusterla » May 31st, 2018, 3:04 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:My understanding of NHS is that if your need is urgent (which a brain injury would be), then you are treated in short order.


Sadly, this is not the case. There are waiting lists on any kind of procedure and different health authorities (at regional level) prioritize differently the services available. In some regions, specialist treatment for some conditions is not available and you may have to travel to different places in the UK to get treatment and, of course, there will be a larger number of individuals on the waiting lists. Under-funding and under-staffing of the NHS for many years has been a source of (political) debate in the country for a long time, and the dropping of the quality of the service rendered is visible to anybody who requires health treatment (for which you pay for through your taxes).

I'm not defending the decision of Mr. Cox to seek treatment in the US and to seek redress from Mr. Copperfield, just explaining that health service in the UK is far from what it was and what it should be.
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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby magicam » May 31st, 2018, 5:19 am

Marco Pusterla wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:My understanding of NHS is that if your need is urgent (which a brain injury would be), then you are treated in short order.

Sadly, this is not the case. There are waiting lists on any kind of procedure and different health authorities (at regional level) prioritize differently the services available. ...

Alas, I've heard similar things directly from other folks in the NHS.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Victim Loses.

Postby performer » May 31st, 2018, 6:54 am

I understand there is a possibility of an appeal.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Plaintiff Loses.

Postby Roger M. » May 31st, 2018, 9:55 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:I still don't understand why, as a British citizen with full health care for free, he moved to the USA and then spent $400,000 on health care. Has anyone figured out why he moved here after he was injured? Or am I misunderstanding something.


I'm Canadian, and have lived my life under a universal healthcare scheme.
All I can tell you is that, to partake of the program you have to have the full and complete support of your personal physician - who has to be willing to professionally advocate that you actually have something wrong with you.

It's difficult getting universal healthcare service if you don't actually have anything wrong with you. The system is essentially designed to service the most needy first, and then on down the list.

Perhaps it would have been difficult to claim in court that you were suffering severe injuries if your British physician dismissed you from care with a declaration that you were perfectly fine?

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Plaintiff Loses.

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 31st, 2018, 3:26 pm

This guy was not "perfectly fine." It seems that he did suffer an injury, but that he alone was responsible for it.
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Copperfield Trial Over. Plaintiff Loses.

Postby Tom Leyland » June 3rd, 2018, 5:21 pm

It goes without saying that invariably nothing is perfect. If I sit down to eat at a restaurant and choke on my Hamburger, is it the restaurant’s fault? It could be if something sinister happened to be in the Hamburger, but if there wasn’t? It’s not the restaurant’s fault at all but rather a tragic event such as the case with Cox.

I’ve seen David’s show (incredible is an understatement BTW) and he’s obviously very keen to the safety of the audience.

Copperfield does get rightfully annoyed when he says something very simple to an audience participant and they don’t get it after he’s repeated it 5x (as I witnessed first hand when a guy happened to be clearly drunk. Being drunk is a factor often left out).

I think people forget that Copperfield has accounted for countless possibilities in his shows by rehearsing thousands of times and planning for “adverse scenarios”. There’s no way he could have a long running show in Vegas if he hadn’t.

It’s unfortunate what happened to Mr. Cox, no question. There definitely should have been more light, that alone could be grounds for an appeal (but this is a little like saying I choked on my Hamburger because I had no water), invariably accidents do happen.

At the end of the day, people want money plain and simple. Sad but true.




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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Plaintiff Loses.

Postby Edward Pungot » June 3rd, 2018, 10:52 pm

Copperfield should do a tv special again.
I sure miss those. 100% controlled environment.

I did get a chance to see him live in Costa Mesa, Ca. many years ago. He is a master. Got a standing ovation at the end.

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Re: Copperfield Trial Over. Plaintiff Loses.

Postby Tom Leyland » June 3rd, 2018, 11:38 pm

Edward Pungot wrote:Copperfield should do a tv special again.
I sure miss those. 100% controlled environment.

I did get a chance to see him live in Costa Mesa, Ca. many years ago. He is a master. Got a standing ovation at the end.


Agree, I fell in love with Magic because of Copperfield. I saw him as a kid and was mesmerized.


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