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Richard Kobak, 'Spider-Man' Stuntman, Gets A Boost From Court Judge

By MARK KENNEDY 05/17/12 02:10 PM ET AP

Spider Man Broadway

NEW YORK — Producers of Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" were ordered Thursday to turn over any relevant information to a stuntman who claims he suffered a concussion, whiplash and two holes in his knees while performing as the comic book hero.

Justice Ellen M. Coin of State Supreme Court in Manhattan granted Richard Kobak's request that 8 Legged Productions, the producers of the $75 million show, hand over any memos, emails or any other evidence as he weighs pursuing a negligence lawsuit.

A spokesman for the producers did not immediately return a request for comment.

The stuntman's lawsuit is but one piece of unfinished business from the past that still hangs around a production that has turned the corner and this week welcomed its 1 millionth audience member. The show, which routinely makes more than $1.2 million a week, has become one of Broadway's top earners and won two Tony Award nominations, for best scenic design and costume.

Kobak, who was one of multiple actors playing Spider-Man on stage from December 2010 to April 2011, claims he suffered the leg injuries in 2010 while filling in for another injured stuntman at the most expensive show in Broadway history.

He alleges that the rigging he used for the show's aerial acrobatics wasn't recalibrated for him and, as a result, he made 70 hard landings on stage during performances and rehearsals. He says the hard landings created a 1.4-millimeter hole in his right knee and a 9-millimeter hole in his left knee.

He also alleges that a computer program controlling one of his jumps from a balcony sent him flying into a wall on April 5, 2011. He says he suffered two herniated discs, whiplash and a concussion.

Kobak's court papers seek memos, emails or any other evidence about the computer program and the equipment, copies of accident reports prepared by producers and any other relevant papers to "determine if there is a viable claim."

During the production's rocky start, several accidents marred performances. One actor, Christopher Tierney, suffered a fractured skull, a fractured shoulder blade, four broken ribs and three broken vertebrae during a fall on Dec. 20, 2010.

In November, fired director Julie Taymor slapped the producers – led by Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris – as well as Glen Berger, her former co-book writer, with a federal copyright infringement lawsuit, alleging they violated her creative rights and haven't compensated her for the work she put into the $75 million show. In January, the producers filed a counterclaim asserting the copyright claims are baseless.

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Online:

http://spidermanonbroadway.marvel.com

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Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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