The choreographer asked the unpaid actors to voluntarily perform an unplanned cheerleading stunt.
There was apportionment but only one award. The jury found Kathryn Ferguson 50% at fault, Claude Racine 15% at fault and Connect the Dots 35% at fault. Plaintiff dismissed Racine, who was uninsured, prior to trial. Plaintiff never served Ferguson who lives in London. Just prior to trial, plaintiff opted to bifurcate the claim against Ferguson and pursue a several, rather than joint and several, judgment against Connect the Dots.
Past medical expenses: $96,973.43
Future medical expenses: $225,000
Past non-economic: $200,000
Future non-economic: $2,125,000
KahnRoven, LLP by Robert Kahn and Jonathan Roven, Woodland Hills.
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP by Howard Slavin and Judy Steffy, Los Angeles.
Kenneth Sabbag, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Pasadena.
Domenick Sisto, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles.
Robert Jones, producer, Los Angeles.
Plaintiff is an aspiring actress who was injured on August 13, 2013 while voluntarily performing in a film titled Punk Rear Guard. The film was conceived of and directed by defendant Kathryn Ferguson and was to be shown on a fashion website known as ShowStudio.com. The choreographer for the film was Claude Racine. The production company was Connect the Dots, Inc. Everyone involved in the film, including plaintiff, provided their services for free in exchange for a credit on the film.
The film was supposed to feature a number of dancers dressed as cheerleaders performing a ground-based dance routine. The dancers/cheerleaders were not supposed to perform any stunts and no precautions were taken for stunts. The choreographer asked for volunteers to perform a “basic” stunt. Plaintiff (an experienced cheerleader) and several others agreed to do the stunt which featured two cheerleaders holding a third up in the air. While practicing the stunt, plaintiff fell and fractured her right elbow.
That production company Connect the Dots, Inc. was negligent for failing to be present to supervise the rehearsal and failing to stop the stunt and for not hiring proper personnel to assist with the stunt.
That plaintiff assumed the risk of participating in the stunt, that Connect the Dots did nothing to increase the inherent risks in cheerleading/stunting, and that no special safety precautions were required for the stunt.
Connect the Dots also disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff’s claim for future medical care.
Fractured radial head and capitulum, resulting in radial head removal. Failed radial head prosthesis necessitating an anconeus myoplasty. Migrating radius. Arthritis. Lifetime of pain.