Manager nearly crushed by Royal Opera House curtain in legal fight

Manager nearly crushed by Royal Opera House curtain in legal fight

Stage manager, 68, who was NEARLY hit by a falling curtain sues the Royal Opera House for £200,000 because he ‘suffered a nervous breakdown’ after the incident

  • Gary Crofts was working on production of Anastasia when the curtain fell on him
  • Veteran project leader suing London’s Royal Opera house, which denies liability 
  • Mr Crofts, 68, says he’s been plagued by depression and anxiety since incident

A stage manager who claims he had a nervous breakdown after nearly being crushed by a curtain at the Royal Opera House is battling for £200,000 in compensation.

Gary Crofts, 68, says he has been plagued by depression and anxiety since the half-ton section of stage curtain crashed down beside him without warning in November 2016.

He was working on a production of Kenneth MacMillan’s three-act ballet Anastasia when the incident happened at London’s Royal Opera House in Convent Garden.

His lawyers claim it was made even more traumatic because he had already suffered ‘significant physical and psychiatric injury’ when part of a gate toppled on him at the venue two years earlier.    

Gary Crofts, 68 (pictured) says he has been plagued by depression and anxiety since the half-ton section of stage curtain crashed down beside him at the Royal Opera House in London in November 2016


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In court documents, his lawyers state the first incident happened in September 2014, leaving him unable to work until June the following year.

The second incident, according to his barrister David Cunnington, happened 18 months after his return to work. 

Mr Crofts is now suing Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, which denies liability for both accidents. 

Mr Cunnington said: ‘Mr Crofts was continuing to suffer with ongoing psychological injuries from his first accident at the date of the second accident.’

‘As a result of the second accident he suffered a disabling deterioration of his prior psychological condition,’ added the barrister. 

Mr Crofts was working on a production of Kenneth MacMillan’s three-act ballet Anastasia when the incident happened at London’s Royal Opera House in Convent Garden (curtain pictured)

Mr Crofts is now suing Royal Opera House (pictured) Covent Garden Foundation, which denies liability for both accidents

At Central London County Court this week lawyers hammered out costs budgeting issues in relation to the trial fixed for April next year.

The case involves a ‘significant care claim’ worth £200,000, Mr Cunnington told District Judge Barry Lightman.

Mr Crofts claims the first accident lacerated part of his achilles and caused acute soft tissue damage.

On top of that, he allegedly suffered symptoms of PTSD, phobic anxiety and social withdrawal.

The second accident only intensified those symptoms, he says, leading to ‘disabling’ phobic anxiety which made work impossible.

He stopped working for the Royal Opera House in August 2018.

The veteran stage manager’s lawyers claim it was made even more traumatic because he (pictured) had already suffered ‘significant physical and psychiatric injury’ when part of a gate toppled on him at the venue two years earlier

 

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