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Acrobats Injured in Ringling Bros. Circus Accident Retain Lawyer

A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon where many of the injured performers will make statements and answer questions about their injuries.

The act just before the apparatus the performers were hanging from gave way. Photo Credit: WHDH, 7-News
The act just before the apparatus the performers were hanging from gave way. Photo Credit: WHDH, 7-News
By Liz Taurasi

Seven of the acrobats injured in a terrifying circus accident when they fell nearly 40 feet to the ground during a hair hanging act have hired a law firm to represent them.

Nine were injured during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performance in Providence on May 4. The accident happened about 90 minutes into the show.

Video of the accident showed a group of acrobats dangling in formation in the center of the performing area when the apparatus they were hanging from gave way and sent them plunging to the ground.

Chicago-based Clifford Law Offices has been retained by seven of the eight female circus performers who were injured when the “human chandelier” act collapsed during that performance. The accident occurred in front of thousands of spectators, including many small children.

The firm has yet to file a lawsuit, but stated in a press release issued Monday that it is conducting an in-depth investigation into “all the possible entities who may be responsible for what happened to these beautiful women who were in perfect health and had promising careers.”

On May 7, three days after the accident, Rhode Island Hospital officials said two acrobats hurt in the horrifying mishap could be paralyzed having suffered serious spinal fractures officials said they could not move their legs when they were transported to the hospital following the accident.

Injured performer Samantha Pitard was released days after the accident despite suffering fractures to her spine, a cut on her heat and stitches on a badly bitten tongue, she said she wants to perform again.

Of the seven who remained hospitalized, the last report on their conditions indicated four were in serious condition, while three patients asked that their conditions not be released.

A press conference is scheduled at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. Several of the young women injured will be present and are expected to make a statement and answer questions about their conditions.


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