Injured Acrobats Will Sue After Accident

Seven Injured Acrobats Will Sue After Accident, Four Spoke At Press Conference

The seven injured acrobats will sue after accident that occurred last month.  The acrobats who were injured in a horrifying accident during a circus performance in Providence will file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries, their lawyers said Tuesday.  Four of these circus acrobats injured during their hair-hanging stunt discussed publicly the accident that sent them plummeting to the ground.  The women, who gave comments at a news conference arranged by their lawyers, were injured when a single carabiner clip snapped during their hair-hanging “human chandelier” act, part of the May 4th performance of the Ringling Bros and Barnun & Bailey Circus.  With tears in their eyes, they talked about wanting to recover from their injuries, and for three of them to walk again. Some grieved the end of their circus careers. All of the victims put the greatest priority during the press conference on thanking people all over the world who have followed their recovery.

Viktoriya Medeiros, 34 years old | Injured Acrobats Will Sue After Accident

Viktoriya Medeiros, who was sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace during the press conference, designed the hair-hanging “human chandelier” act with her husband.  She states that the women know they are lucky to be alive. She wore a neck brace and was in a wheelchair. She said she won’t be able to perform the stunt ever again.

“I will not be able to go back and to make what I know to do best, what I love to do. It’s my dreams,” Medeiros said.

“We are all terribly injured. Some of us require many surgeries.  We are learning to use our arms, hands and necks again (in) hours and hours of daily physical therapy. We are hoping we can heal enough that we can live our lives without this pain.”

“Most of us cannot walk normal, yet. I hope that’s going to happen one day.”

Julissa Segrera, 20 years old | Injured Acrobats Will Sue After Accident

Julia Segrera, the only American who was involved in the accident, spoke from her wheelchair.  She is also the youngest of those injured.

“My dream was to be a star performer and now my dream is to get up and walk.”

“We are trying to come to terms with knowing we will never be the same.  The girls hope that one day we will be healed enough so we can live our lives without this pain.”

“Your prayers are still needed.”

 Dayana Costa, 26 years old | Injured Acrobats Will Sue After Accident

Dayana Costa’s injuries required little steel rods to be placed in her lower arm and hand. They joined an external rod that held it altogether. She chocked back tears as she spoke, and was comforted by her friend as she discussed how difficult and scary the recovery has been.

“I am thankful to God and for many angels for giving me my life back and a chance to live my dreams.  I believe the same God that saved me, my friends’ life, is the same God that’s going to give our victory.”

“It’s been a very painful recovery,” Dayana Costa said through tears. “The doctors still don’t know what’s going to happen. Every day is really hard. Every day is something new.”

Svitlana Balanicheva, 22 years old | Injured Acrobats Will Sue After Accident

Svitlana Balanicheva who is a native of Ukraine, talked about the pride she took from being a circus performer and how she adored entertaining families and especially children.  Balanicheva, the only one of the four aerialists not in a wheelchair, thanked people for their love and support.  She spoke for both herself and for 25-year-old Viktorila Liakhova, who remained in Providence, where she was having surgery Tuesday.

“To go through what we did is something we never dreamed of”

“We always like to entertain families.  Now we have nightmares about it.”

The Lawyers | Injured Acrobats Will Sue After Accident

Thomas K. Prindable and Michael S. Krzak, of Clifford Law Offices of Chicago, accompanied the aerialists.  Krzak told reporters that the firm has set out to investigate the circus incident, identify any party with legal responsibility and target that party in a lawsuit.

“They want to make sure this never happens in another circus act again.  These girls never would have gotten up on the human chandelier if they thought there was any chance of the human chandelier failing.  The girls are in pretty bad shape. I think it’s safe to say they’re going to be here for a while. The most important thing for these girls is that they not be sent somewhere else. They need to heal together.”

“We’re going to do everything we can for these young ladies,” said another lawyer, adding that it’s possible the carabiner manufacturer could be the target of a lawsuit, but that his team has been prevented from reviewing the evidence so far by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”

The women want to get to the “root cause” of the accident, as it affects a number of aerial acts.  Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are also probing the accident.  The women’s medical treatment is being covered through workers compensation.  We wish these young women the best.


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