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Eight acrobats seriously injured when the rigging that held them by their hair fell to the ground during a circus performance in Rhode Island In 2014 they reached an agreement of 52.5 million dollars (69 million Australian dollars) with the ownership and management of the stadium where the circus took place.
“It’s a great result, it’s the right result, and it’s a fair result,” Zachary Mandell, attorney for the eight women, said of the settlement, first reported by The Diary of Providence.

A metal clip holding the acrobats twenty feet from the Dunkin ‘Donuts Center floor broke during the May 2014 performance, causing the women to suffer broken bones and spinal injuries. A ninth worker on the ground was also injured.

Circus acrobat Julissa Segrera, second from right, from the United States, and Dayana Costa, right, from Brazil, cry as Ms. Costa reads a statement at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.  They were among eight acrobats injured when the apparatus from which they were suspended fell, sending them to the ground during a performance.
Circus acrobat Julissa Segrera, second from right, from the United States, and Dayana Costa, right, from Brazil, cry as Ms. Costa reads a statement at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. They were among eight acrobats injured when the apparatus from which they were suspended fell, sending them to the ground during a performance. (AP / Steven Senne)

Some of the women still suffer from “life-altering” injuries, according to Mandell, who said he couldn’t go into details because of medical privacy laws.

“These clients will now be able to make significant recoveries with the help of this deal,” he said.

In 2016, the women sued the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, which owns the stadium, and SMG, which runs it.

Sean Brousseau, who is listed as attorney for both entities, said today that he can neither confirm nor deny an agreement.

The settlement will be paid for by insurers, Mandell said.

According to the lawsuit, SMG agreed to manage all events and maintain security within the center, and arranged with Florida-based Feld Entertainment Inc, the parent company of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, to bring the circus to Providence.

After the accident, which occurred in front of thousands of onlookers, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration concluded that circus personnel had overloaded a carabiner.

The clip held a chandelier-like apparatus from which the women were suspended by their hair.

OSHA cited Feld for a “serious” violation of industry practices and imposed the maximum possible fine, $ 7,000.

Feld Entertainment disputed the finding.

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which closed in 2017, also agreed to take several steps to improve safety.

An email seeking comment was left with Feld.


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