Personal Injury News

£510,000 for Dome plunge acrobat

An acrobat left with horrific injuries after she plunged 20ft from a harness in the Millennium Dome has won a record £510,000 in compensation, it was revealed today.

Suzanne Barber smashed her spine, pelvis, feet and one wrist in the fall on to concrete before crowds of shocked Dome visitors three years ago.

The performers' union Equity said her injuries meant her career was destroyed and she was left in agony, with the possibility that her condition could get worse.

Ms Barber, 34, heard her back break as she fell and suffered three fractures to her spine and two to her pelvis.

One of her feet was broken and the other so shattered by multiple breaks that her toes were left deformed and her wrist was broken.

Doctors have told her she will never fully recover, her union Equity said.

She was working as an acrobat in the Dome, suspended from a balloon inside the attraction, when her harness opened and she was sent plunging towards the ground.

It was the end of a highly successful career for the acrobat, dancer, model and choreographer, who performed under the name Suzy Barton.

She trained in gymnastics from the age of four, was in the national gymnastics squad in her teens and appeared in several West End productions, feature films and in commercials.

She was awarded a record £510,000 in compensation - the biggest sum ever given to a performer for injury, Equity said.

The union negotiated her out-of-court settlement with The Dream Engine, her employers at the Dome, and said the firm admitted liability for the accident.

The company was unavailable for comment.

Ananova: 12:51 Tuesday 30th September 2003



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