Injured circus performers file lawsuit against Dunkin Donuts Center

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily circus performers injured in a hair-hang act at the Dunkin Donuts Center two years ago have filed a lawsuit in connection with the accident.

The performers are now seeking damages from the operators of both the Dunk and the Rhode Island Convention Center.

The lawsuit claims the Dunk and its operators should have put a stop to the hair-hanging act before it ever started.

On May 4, 2014, a troupe of female acrobats hanging from their hair fell more than 20 feet to the ground.

It is unclear how much money the performers want. Federal safety investigators say a carabiner clip snapped, causing the accident.

A few months ago, the performers sued five companies tied to that piece of equipment.

The new lawsuit alleges SMG, the company that runs the center, allowed the hair-hang act to take place – even though it was not safe and not in compliance with the industry standards for rigging safety.

Plus, they say SMG and the Dunk never inspected the act.

The lawsuit claims SMG was responsible for all rigging in the circus.

The General Manager of the Dunkin Donuts Center and RI Convention Center said Thursday he could not comment on the lawsuit. Representatives for SMG have not yet returned our calls.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the circus $7,000 after finding that the equipment was improperly installed. The circus said the carabiner was inspected and was rated to hold 10,000 pounds.

Complete Coverage:RI Circus Accident » 

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