Former Cirque du Soleil Star Sues Over Career-Ending Stage Accident

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On a fateful June evening in 2023, the twinkling lights of the Bellagio in Las Vegas bore witness to a horrific event during the performance of the famed Cirque du Soleil show, “O”. Former champion diver Kyle Mitrione, a star performer of the show, suffered a life-altering injury that turned his world upside down. Today, as a quadriplegic, relying on medical help to get through the day, Mitrione seeks justice against the company that he believes pushed him into the clutches of danger.

On Thursday, Mitrione, at the age of 35, mustered the strength to file a lawsuit accusing Cirque du Soleil of placing him in jeopardy during the enchanting aquatic performance at 9:30 p.m. Upon his shoulders, he carries his quest for compensation – demanding damages exceeding $50,000 to cover extensive medical expenses alongside punitive damages.

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Steeling himself against the immense physical and emotional turmoil, Mitrione recalled the events of his ill-fated performance. The act that spelled disaster for the seasoned diver was aptly named “Island”, a newly introduced piece that had been staged for merely a fortnight before the incident. As the audience held their collective breath, Mitrione was poised to execute a daring backward dive, headfirst from a floating platform into the abyss of the show’s massive 1.5-million gallon pool.

Unfortunately, fate had other plans. The platform was out of sync and Mitrione crashed into one of the platform’s lifts. The impact left him battling with debilitating, catastrophic, and life-altering injuries. The once vibrant diver was left paralyzed from the neck down, his life forever changed.

The horrifying incident triggered an immediate halt to the performance, and Mitrione was sped to the hospital. Emergency surgery, although successful in saving his life, could not repair the profound damage to his spinal cord. Along with total quadriplegia, Mitrione’s suit reports a string of afflictions, including chronic deep vein thrombosis, hyponatremia, crippling depression, and other relentless physical and emotional burdens.

The lawsuit places the blame squarely on Cirque du Soleil. As per Mitrione’s account, the negligence ranges from inadequate rehearsals to the absence of crucial audio or technical cues for the divers. Matters worsened with the inception of the “Island” act, which revamped diving norms and heightened risks. Several near miss incidents involving other divers allegedly occurred in the run-up to Mitrione’s accident, yet the Cirque officials turned a blind eye to the looming risks.

The lawsuit girds its stance with claims of cost-cutting measures leading to the rushed production and potentially compromising safety standards of the “Island” act. Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) dished out fines exceeding $30,000 against Cirque du Soleil for two grave violations unearthed during their probe.

One violation directly links to Mitrione’s plight, accusing Cirque of neglecting to provide sufficient audio or visual cues to ensure safe diving. In addition, OSHA cited Cirque for failing to belt artists during high-dive and trapeze performances, stoking concerns for the future of Cirque performances.

Despite the mounting evidence and criticism, it is reported that Cirque du Soleil is contesting the OSHA fines; however, any responses from either Mitrione’s representatives or those of Cirque remain out of sight for the moment. As the case continues to unfold, the erstwhile dazzling world of Kyle Mitrione, now darkened by misfortune, waits for justice to be served.