UPDATE: Bret Michaels filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court today against CBS Television, Tony Awards Productions, White Cherry Entertainment, and other defendants involved in the production of the 2009 Tony Awards. He’s wants damages for the injuries caused when The Poison frontman was struck in the head by a set piece resulting in a near fatal massive subarachnoid hemorrhage. (Link to lawsuit)
According to a PR statement released by the rock star and his law firm, “Although he had already suffered significant damages in the period immediately following the incident, Michaels tried to turn the other cheek and was reluctant to take the matter to Court. Accordingly, Michaels and his legal team made several efforts to resolve the matter amicably and out-of-court. The producers of the Tony Awards refused, telling Michaels to pound proverbial sand and not even offering so much as an apology. Nonetheless, Michaels, having well earned his reputation as the kind of guy who can take a punch, was still willing walk away. All that changed when Michaels was almost killed by his injuries and he was forced to think about the fact that because of the Tony Awards, his daughters might grow up without their father.”
Video of the incident went viral on the Internet and became one of the Top 10 most-viewed clips on YouTube. Michaels is accusing the Tony Awards of exploiting his injury with that video. “Literally adding insult to injury is the fact that the Tony Awards could have chosen to employ their broadcast delay to prevent the video from being transmitted, but instead decided to exploit the footage as a cheap ratings ploy.’
“The Tony Awards dropped a piece of the stage on Bret’s head, and then instead of doing the right thing, joked about it and played it off for ratings,” explained Michaels’ attorney Alex Weingarten of the Los Angeles law firm of Spillane Weingarten. ‘Bret never wanted to file a lawsuit, but the Tony Awards have left us with no choice. They must be held accountable for almost killing Bret, and that is what we are going to do.”
Michaels claims he continues to deal with effects from the injury and brain bleeding that left him hospitalized last year. “Through his sheer will to live, to see his children grow up, Michaels was able to survive this trauma,” his lawsuit states. Michaels and Poison performed at the Tony Awards in June 2009 and the singer suffered a cut lip and broken nose when he was whacked by a piece of scenery. The lawsuit blames CBS and Tony producers for not properly informing him of his exit route before he was hit on the head with equipment after performing “Nothin’ But A Good Time”. “Michaels was never told that the scenery piece would be descending or given any warning of the existence of the dangers it presented,” the lawsuit states. Six months later he suffered a brain hemorrhage, and the suit suggest that was related to the onstage incident.