Eight of nine circus acrobats seriously injured in a hair-hanging stunt that went awry in 2014 in Rhode Island are suing several companies, two based in the Southland, saying they share responsibility for the snapping of a metal clip that caused the performers to fall from an aerial platform.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Thursday names AMF World Enterprises Inc. and Ace Metal Products, Inc., both based in Chino. Two other companies sued are Colorado-based and the third is located in Taiwan, but all three do business in California, the suit states.
The suit alleges all were involved in some way in either the design, manufacture, testing, inspection, assembly, distribution and selling of metal clips like the one that allegedly failed in the accident.
The suit’s allegations include negligence, strict product liability and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Representatives of the two Chino companies could not be immediately reached.
The plaintiffs include Viktoriya Medeiros, 35, of Bulgaria, who designed the hair-hanging act with her husband, and Dayana Costa, a 27-year-old from Brazil. The other plaintiffs are Svitlana Balanicheva, Viktoria Liakhova, Stefany Neves, Widny Neves, Samantha Pitard and Julisa Segrera.
The suit states that the metal clip, known as a carabiner, was sold to Feld Entertainment Inc. for use in the Ringling Bros. circus May 4, 2014, in Providence, Rhode Island. The acrobats were performing the hair hang act about 11 a.m. when the metal clip “failed and broke loose,” causing the performers to “violently fall over 20 feet to the ground and suffer severe and permanent injuries.”
The incident was captured on video.
—City News Service