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Cirque du Soleil will appeal OSHA citations

Pennsylvania fans of the Cirque du Soleil performances might take interest in hearing that it plans to appeal the six citations that it was issued by OSHA in connection to a performer's death. A performer fell 94 feet to her death back in June during a live performance of 'Ka" in Las Vegas. OSHA stated that a wire rope she was suspended from severed as she was rapidly descending.

The fatality that occurred in June was the first time a performer had died during a live show performance. However, a Cirque performer died during a practice session in 2009 after falling off a trampoline, and others have been hurt during performances in Las Vegas, Orlando and Portland. The spokesperson for Cirque stated that the company has expanded their efforts to ensure worker safety after the workplace accident occurred.

The citations that OSHA issued against the company alleged that it didn't provide proper training for the performer and didn't properly access the workplace for hazards prior to the performance either. The fines that the company faces for the citations could total more than $25,000. The performer who died was a six year veteran of the company. Cirque stated that it plans on appealing the citations. OSHA also issued citations to the hotel where the performance was held. The hotel also stated that it plans on appealing its citations.

The family members of the deceased worker could decide to file a workers' compensation claim against the company for the death of their loved one. However, in exchange for seeking workers' compensation benefits, they must forfeit their right to sue the company for negligence. A workers' compensation attorney could negotiate for a fair settlement that may help compensate the family members for their loved one's death.

Source: LA Times, "Cirque du Soleil says it will appeal OSHA citations in 'Ka' death", David Ng, October 30, 2013

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