An actress who is suing CBS Studios for injuries she suffered in 2019 after falling on the set of “Jane the Virgin” says in new court papers that she believed she was the victim of an “intentional assault” that left her with a serious left foot injury.
Nicole Barnes’ Torrance Superior Court lawsuit also names as a defendant Eye Productions Inc., a co-producer with Warner Bros. of The CW show, which ended a five-season run in July 2019.
According to her suit filed in February 2020 alleging battery, negligence and premises liability, Barnes fell on the set April 1, 2019, while in full costume with a papier-mache head that impeded her ability to see. She also wore high heels and the room was dark and foggy, her suit says. She alleges the producers told her to put one foot into a “set rock,” further limiting her mobility.
“The scene was an alien red-carpet cocktail party,” Barnes says. “I was playing a cocktail waitress dressed as an alien. I stood on a floor with fake rocks.”
Without warning, a crew member grabbed Barnes on one shoulder and pulled her back, causing her to fall and break her left foot, the suit alleges.
“I believe that this was an intentional assault with intent to cause harm as it was clear that I would be injured by being violently pulled back from the position I was in,” Barnes says in a sworn declaration filed Tuesday in opposition to Warner Bros.’ motion to dismiss the case. “As a result of the perpetrator’s actions, I fell and broke my foot and developed a disabling pain condition…”
Barnes says she was in an “extremely vulnerable position” because her costume obstructed her vision and she was carrying a tray with about eight drinks with one hand. She also says her costume was heavy and interfered with her movements.
“The scene was filled with machine generated smoke with very little visibility,” Barnes says “The set was dark and the floor was wet. The set was crowded with a lot of people.”
Barnes says she was not allowed to go back onto the set to get her belongings and was forced to wait in a hallway in back of the set. She says she was not immediately taken to a hospital, but instead to an urgent care facility about an hour after her fall.
Barnes further says she was employed by Central Casting at the time and that the company sent her to various jobs.
In their motion to dismiss Barnes’ lawsuit, lawyers for CBS Studios say the company was not involved with the production of season five of the series and that no CBS employee was present on the set the day Barnes was hurt.
“Rather, Eye Productions was the producer of the program and had control over the film set,” the CBS Studios lawyers argue in their court papers.
Barnes’ lawyers maintain in their court papers that CBS Studios is responsible as the owner of Eye Productions. The CBS dismissal motion is scheduled to be heard April 12 by Judge Deirdre Hill.
Barnes remains disabled because of her foot injury, according to her complaint, which alleges that the producers had an obligation to use reasonable care on the set so as to avoid such an injury and to assure that performers are not touched on the set without their permission when they are in vulnerable positions.