Bret Michaels Sues Tony Awards Over 2009 Mishap
First Published: March 25, 2011 9:49 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Bret Michaels sued CBS Broadcasting and the organizers of the Tony Awards on Friday over a 2009 mishap that resulted in him being hit in the head by a set piece, claiming the accident contributed to a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him.
The Poison frontman’s lawsuit claims he continues to deal with effects from the injury and brain bleeding that left him hospitalized last year.
“Through his sheer will to live, to see his children grow up, Michaels was able to survive this trauma,” his lawsuit states.
Michaels and Poison performed at the Tony Awards in June 2009 and the singer suffered a busted lip and broken nose when he was whacked by a piece of scenery.
He claims show organizers never explained that the set would be changing after the band performed, “Nothin’ But a Good Time.” He also claims the show could have prevented the incident from airing, but chose not to.
Footage of the accident quickly became a viral hit on the Internet, and Michaels’ lawsuit claims clips have been viewed more than 27 million times on YouTube.
Michaels was hospitalized in April 2010 and doctors found he had a brain hemorrhage and he later suffered a warning stroke, which the musician says nearly killed him.
“Michaels was never told that the scenery piece would be descending or given any warning of the existence of the dangers it presented,” the lawsuit states.
CBS declined comment and has a policy not to respond to lawsuitsoutside of court.
Phone and e-mail messages left for spokespeople for the Tony Awards were not immediately returned Friday evening.
Within days of the accident, Michaels expressed dismay that Tony organizers hadn’t shown more concern about the incident.
“The Tony Awards dropped a piece of the stage on Bret’s head, and then instead of doing the right thing, joked about it and played it off for ratings,” Michaels’ attorney Alex Weingarten wrote in a statement.
He said Michaels tried to resolve the court without filing a case but was unsuccessful. “They must be held accountable for almost killing Bret, and that is what we are going to do,” Weingarten wrote.
His lawsuit does not state how much he is seeking to recover, although it states the injury hurt his ability to perform at later shows.
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