March 1, 2011

As Oregon fans mount a campaign for Bret Michaels to add Portland to his concert schedule, the singer has filed a personal injury lawsuit against CBS and the Tony Awards. Michaels, the lead singer of the band Poison, alleges that he sustained a head injury when a piece of scenery fell on him during the June 2009 broadcast of the awards.

According to the complaint, the accident was responsible for many of the health issues that have plagued Michaels over the past couple of years. At one point, he suffered from an agonizing headache that sent him to the hospital. There, doctors discovered a brain hemorrhage. The singer almost died.

The accident took place, on camera, as the singer exited the stage. A large piece of scenery fell on him, leaving him with a broken nose and a laceration on his lip. In the complaint Michaels says he asked how to exit the stage after the band’s performance. He was directed out the back, through the “danger zone.”

Michaels further claims that the Tonys never explained to him that the scenery would be changing or that the large piece that fell on him would be descending. There were no warnings of the potential dangers of the scene change.

Matters were made worse by the network’s and the Tony organizers’ actions following the accident. His attorney said in a statement that the organizers failed to do “the right thing.” Instead, they “joked about it and played it off for ratings.” The video clip quickly went viral.

The statement continued, saying that Michaels had attempted to resolve the issue outside of court, without success. The only alternative was to sue.

Stating that the incident affected the singer’s ability to perform at other shows, the complaint asks for unspecified damages.

Source: Miami Herald, “Bret Michaels sues Tony Awards over 2009 mishap,” Anthony McCartney, 03/25/11

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