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Canadian Actress Sues Over On-Set Facial Injury

Posted in: Blog, Serious Personal Injury // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
January 3, 2019

Earlier this year, Taylor Hickson (“Hickson”), a 20-year-old Canadian actress, commenced a lawsuit with the Court of Queen’s Bench against Incident Productions Inc. for facial injuries that she suffered on the set of the indie horror film Ghostland in December 2016.

Hickson is described as an up-and-coming actress, who appeared in a small role in the superhero film Deadpool and the Space TV Series Aftermath.

WHAT HAPPENED?

According to the lawsuit, Hickson was assured by director Pascal Laugier and a producer that the “emotionally charged scene” was safe to perform on the set of the film that she was shooting in Winnipeg. Hickson was to pound her fists on a pane of glass. The lawsuit alleges that regular glass, instead of safety glass (which is designed not to splinter into dangerous shards), was used on the set.

Eventually, after numerous takes, Hickson’s fists shattered the glass pane and her head and upper body fell through onto the glass shards. She sustained a large cut to her face. She was rushed to the hospital and required 70 stitches to the left side of her face, stretching from her chin almost to her left ear.

According to the lawsuit, she has undergone laser treatment and silicone treatment and is still left with permanent scarring on the left side of her face.

Hickson is described by her lawyers as a “busy, up and coming actor” before the accident. Her lawsuit contends that she remains scarred, has lost income during her recovery, and is struggling to find work as an actor as a result of her facial scarring. It is further alleged that she has and will continue to suffer future financial losses due to the accident.

Hickson has also alleged that she has sustained more than just physical wounds. She is quoted as saying, “it’s been mass amounts of insecurity, conflicted, confused, hurt, angry, and sad that this was my last day on set and no precautions were taken.”

Hickson lives in Kelowna, B.C. and is seeking damages for lost income and future loss of income, as well as mental distress, and legal costs.

It is alleged in the lawsuit that the accident was preventable and unfortunate and that Incident Productions Inc., a Winnipeg-based production company, fell below the legal standard of care expected of a production company.

None of these allegations have been proven in court.

AN INJURY CLAIM FOR SCARS AND DISFIGUREMENT

In Canada, motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of scars and disfigurement.  Scars and disfigurement can also arise from accidents around the home, such as burning or scalding incidents, or as a result of a dog attack, botched cosmetic surgery, assault, or a sports injury, to name a few.

No matter how the scarring or disfigurement has occurred, the truth is that permanent scars or disfigurements are often painful, traumatizing, and substantially impact an individual’s life and sense of self-esteem.

Injuries, such as scarring and disfigurement, often have a huge psychological impact on the injured person. Those individuals that have visible scars on their face or other exposed body parts often suffer from embarrassment, anxiety, low self-esteem, and emotional distress. This type of disfigurement may cause difficulty throughout the individual’s life and may hinder their enjoyment of everyday interactions and activities. It may also affect the individual’s ability to find a partner, form relationships, or even obtain employment.

The following factors may be considered when determining the impact that the scarring or disfigurement has had on an individual’s life, including:

  • Location: Facial scars or those that are easily visible can lead to more embarrassment and self-consciousness.
  • Cultural and gender sensitivity.
  • Jobs and careers: Employment that requires interaction with co-workers, customers, and clients may be made more difficult by disfigurement and an individual may be at a disadvantage in terms of hiring.
  • Physical discomfort: Some scarring can cause pain, itching, numbness or tenderness.
  • Movement and abilities: Some scarring may inhibit movement, depending on the location.
  • Future changes to the scar: Scars may change over time and this may lead to long-term effects on self-esteem, and future surgeries and painful medical treatment.

If an individual has suffered scarring or disfigurement as a result of an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence (the failure to exercise the standard of care that would be expected of an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent person in the same circumstances), the injured party may be entitled to make a claim for damages. You may be able to seek compensation for loss of income, reconstructive surgery or dermatological procedures, psychological counselling and other medical/rehabilitation treatments, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

If you have sustained a scar or disfigurement or a serious personal injury as the result of someone else’s fault or negligence, you may have grounds to pursue legal action against them in the form of a personal injury claim.  At Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers, we understand that this is a very difficult and traumatizing time for the injured individual.  Please contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers for a free consultation today either online or at 403-571-0555.

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