After nine months of threats and negotiations, 26-year-old, semi-professional stuntman Crazy Mike Gaboff filed suit against Sony Pictures Entertainment, two other companies named Break Media and Next Point, Inc. and 100 John Does in Los Angeles Superior Court last Friday. Gaboff is seeking an unspecified amount of damages but it appears he hopes to retire after this. He is represented by not one but two Los Angeles law firms – Greene Briollet & Wheeler and Balaban & Spielberger.
Gaboff, in the photo above and two of the videos below, was injured April 21, 2012 in a spectacular and poorly planned stunt that was staged to promote the Sony film, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The suit refers to the film as Ghost Rider 2. An edited version of the stunt accompanied the DVD release of the film.
The suit states: “As a result of direct and legal result of the affirmative acts and omissions of the defendants…the plaintiff was rendered sick, sore, lame, disabled and disordered, both internally and externally and suffered, among other things, numerous internal and external injuries, severe fright, shock, pain, discomfort and anxiety…The exact nature and extent of said injuries are not known to the plaintiff…Some of said injuries are reasonably certain to be permanent in character.”
The suit alleges negligence by the respondents. Gaboff concedes he was an independent contractor.
The stunt required Gaboff to ride a 250 cc motorcycle up a ramp, through a sheet of glass, catch fire and land in a small lake. He overshot the lake and the suit says it wasn’t his fault.
“I’m like, ‘I’m about to die,’” Crazy Mike told ABC last June. “That’s how I felt.” ABC reported that Gaboff “broke his lower back, pelvis, neck, both arms, ribs, collar bone, and also suffered collapsed lungs and second-degree burns.” Gaboff spent two months in a hospital and ran up a $1 million bill. He appears not to have had insurance.
Break Media said Gaboff “was fully responsible for the design and execution of the stunt.” Neither Sony nor Next Point, Inc. have publically commented on the incident.
Gaboff is specifically seeking “general damages in an amount within the jurisdictional limits of this court;” and to be compensated for “medical expenses and related items of expense;” “loss of earnings;” “loss of earning capacity;” “costs of (the) suit;” “prejudgment interest;” and “such other and further relief as the court may deem proper and just.”