Cirque du Soleil Sued by Las Vegas Acrobat After Bellagio Performance Injury Left Him Paralyzed 

Kyle Mitrione, 35, was a professional diver and Las Vegas acrobat. However after an accident on June 28, 2023, that all changed.

Mitrione was performing in Cirque du Soleil’s O show (pictured) at MGM’s the Bellagio in Las Vegas. He dived backwards off a 60-foot high platform in a choreographed maneuver, only to hit head-first into the rising lifts underneath the four-foot deep pool beneath him.

Although emergency surgery saved his life, Mitrione has been left permanently paralyzed from the accident. 

Now, he and his wife have filed a lawsuit against Cirque du Soleil. It claims that the accident was at least partly caused by negligence on the part of Cirque. Lawyers for the plaintiff say the company rushed the show into production despite inadequate preparations, which gave rise to safety concerns from show cast. 

The Accident 

The act Mitrione was performing when it all went wrong was called The Island. It was a new part of the O show introduced just two weeks prior. O has been performed at the Bellagio in Las Vegas since 1998. 

During the stunt, Mitrione was required to dive backwards from a 60-foot high board into a pool that was, prior to the changes made for The Island segment, seven-feet deep.

However, for the new act, Cirque bosses introduced a moving platform underneath the water that could move submerged performers into view from below while they remained stationary.

During Mitrione’s fateful performance of his dive that day, the platforms were raised too high.

After hitting his head, he was rushed to a hospital. But the emergency surgery that saved his life could not prevent a list of life-changing injuries. 

Mitrione suffered “severe and permanent injuries, including, but not limited to, spinal and neck fractures resulting in complete quadriplegia, neck and orthopedic injuries, neck and spinal surgery, sleep apnea, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.” 

The Lawsuit 

The lawsuit is seeking undetermined damages from Cirque. It says the show owners rushed the introduction of a new act without adequate safety precautions, which led directly to Mitrione’s accident. 

It says that performers expressed concerns numerous times to management in the lead-up to the debut performance of The Island. 

“The defendants knowingly rushed the production and installation of the “Island” act in a deliberate cost reduction effort in order to minimize costs and save money, and while placing performers like Plaintiff, Kyle Mitrione, in harm’s way,” the suit reads.

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