Las Vegas Comedian Wins $1.3M Casino Injury Suit
It's no joke: Comedian George Wallace has been awarded $1.3 million in damages after a 2007 fall at the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas.
Wallace showed he had a sense of humor while winning the jury trial, announcing when he would be closing his show at the Flamingo, reports the Las Vegas Sun.
What kind of damages was Wallace seeking from the casino?
Stand Up Turns to Fall Down
Wallace didn't get the $7.1 million he had originally requested for his injuries, but told reporters he was "happy" with the jury award.
The 61-year-old comedian took a spill during a 2007 show at the Bellagio after he tangled his leg in some onstage wiring. Attorneys for the Bellagio were skeptical that this injury had actually caused Wallace to lose "millions of dollars in lifetime earnings," The Associated Press reports.
Those who suffer serious or debilitating injuries often sue for lost wages, lost earning capacity, as well as future medical expenses for injuries that will carry through their lifetimes. Perhaps because Wallace was a stand-up comedian in his 60s, and not a young track and field star, the Bellagio defense team didn't believe Wallace's tendon injury would have that great an effect.
For his part, Wallace testified that the injury left him "permanently hobbled," reports the AP.
Comedy Is Pain and Suffering
Wallace's $1.3 million award comprises $1.2 million for lost income, $100,000 for pain and suffering, and $8,500 for medical expenses. It's difficult to put an exact dollar figure on something like pain and suffering, but civil juries are expected to do it in most states.
And in Wallace's case, the jury determined that his pain and suffering from the leg injury was worth exactly $100,000. The AP reports that the Bellagio and its owners haven't made up their minds yet about a possible appeal, but counsel for the casino stated that "we respect the jury's verdict."
According to the Sun, this verdict dovetails with the end of Wallace's 10-year stage show in Vegas, but he may have his eye on a new TV project. Stay tuned.
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