By Matt Trueman, The Guardian
Injuries allegedly caused by faulty rigging spark latest lawsuit to beset Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Every superhero needs a suit, but not the kind that beleaguered Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is attracting. A former stuntman on the production is the latest to take legal action, filing a $6m (£3.9m) lawsuitover injuries incurred on the production.
Richard Kobak, who replaced another stuntman, Christopher Tierney, after the latter’s 30-foot fall in the “hero flyer” role, is suing the companies responsible for providing and maintaining equipment used in the production’s flying sequences. Though the suit doesn’t list the injuries he incurred, Kobak has previously claimed to have suffered concussion, whiplash and two herniated discs, as well as two holes in his knees while working on the Spider-Man musical.
On replacing Tierney, Kobak claims equipment wasn’t adjusted to his personal specifications, leaving it “improperly calibrated for the height, weight and size of the plaintiff”. On another occasion, Kobak says he was asked to change his technique for a particular stunt and, on taking the direction, hit a wall at speed.
The stuntman is taking action against Live Nation Worldwide, the company that supplied “certain equipment, devices, machinery, computers, computer programs, systems, navigation systems, safety devices and all relevant and necessary items” to the production, according to the suit, as well as Scott Fisher, who Kobak claims was “responsible for the design, creation, manufacture, fabrication, installation, maintenance, repair and upkeep” of some of those items.
Kobak’s legal action follows that taken by the production’s original director Julie Taymor, who is seeking more than $1m from producers in addition to future royalties.
The production officially opened in June 2011, after eight months of preview performances and problems, and reportedly cost a record-breaking $75m to produce.
Photo: LOS ANGELES – JUN 28: Spider Man at the premiere of Columbia Pictures’ ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ at the Regency Village Theater on June 28, 2012 in Los Angeles, California (Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com)