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Performer paralyzed during ‘O’ show sues Cirque du Soleil

Updated April 22, 2024 - 4:27 pm

A performer is suing Cirque du Soleil after he was paralyzed by a moving platform in June 2023 during a new act for the “O” show.

Kyle Mitrione dove head-first into a moving platform during the new “Island” act in the show at the Bellagio, fracturing his neck and spine and causing “complete quadriplegia,” according to the lawsuit.

The complaint alleged that the act called for performers to dive into a pool as platforms were moving, but there was no method for the performers to ensure the platforms were out of the way before they dove into the water.

Performers instead had music cues that instructed them when to dive. But because the act did not have an adequate number of “show runs,” meant to simulate live show conditions, the music cues were not properly synchronized, according to the lawsuit.

The platform was about 4 feet from the water’s surface when Mitrione dove backwards into the pool, according to the lawsuit.

“Defendants knowingly rushed the production and installation of the ‘Island’ act, in a deliberate cost reduction effort in order to minimize costs and save money, and while placing performers like Plaintiff, Kyle Mitrione, in harm’s way,” Mitrione’s attorneys wrote in the complaint.

Dave Kirvin, a spokesperson for Cirque du Soleil, said in an emailed statement that the company does not comment on “litigation matters.”

The lawsuit also claimed that six days before Mitrione was injured, there was a “near miss incident” in which a diver nearly struck the platform.

Mitrione, who was 35 when he was injured, was rushed to the hospital during the show and underwent emergency surgery, the lawsuit said.

The complaint alleged that Cirque du Soleil failed to properly choreograph the act and failed to protect performers from hazardous conditions.

After Mitrione was injured, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Cirque du Soleil $15,625 for the show failing to provide proper audio or visual cues for the performers to dive into the water.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has previously reported that nine months after Mitrione was hurt, another performer was injured in the same act, when the artist fell from another performer’s shoulders. The performer who fell was hospitalized and then released.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

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