David Copperfield found not liable for tourist's injuries during act

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Famed magician David Copperfield was found negligent but not financially responsible for a British tourist’s injuries, suffered during Copperfield's signature vanishing act in a 2013 Las Vegas Strip show, a jury said Tuesday.

Gavin Cox, 57, and his wife, Minh Hahn Cox, alleged negligence by the multimillionaire illusionist, the MGM Grand hotel, two Copperfield business entities and a construction firm that was renovating the hotel.

Jurors found no liability for each of those named in the lawsuit, and instead found Cox 100 percent responsible for his own injuries, which attorneys estimated resulted in more than $400,000 in medical costs.

Gavin Cox testified that he suffered brain and other injuries in a fall while stagehands urged him and other participants from the audience to run during an illusion that appeared to make them disappear onstage and reappear moments later, waving flashlights in the back of the theater.

He recalled stagehands shouting, "Run! Run! Run!," through an outdoor alleyway that his lawyers say was coated with construction dust.

Cox, a former chef from Kent, England, said he fell hard on his right side and didn't remember getting to finish the illusion in November 2013.

“If they didn’t set it up this way, it couldn’t happen,” Cox's lawyer, Benedict Morelli said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It really is preposterous to think you could set this up and no one would get injured.”

As many as 13 audience volunteers at a time participated in the "Lucky #13" trick that Copperfield said a total of at least 55,000 audience participants had taken part in over 17 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.