‘AGT: Extreme’s Jonathan Goodwin Sues Over Stunt That Paralyzed Him

‘AGT: Extreme’s Jonathan Goodwin Sues Over Stunt That Paralyzed Him

Jonathan Goodwin is suing those behind America’s Got Talent: Extreme. The contestant, who was born Jonathan Harvey, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles on Wednesday, accusing Fremantle, Syco Entertainment, Marathon Productions, Walk About Inc., T-Minus Productions, NBCUniversal and others of negligence and peculiar risk for a 2021 stunt that left him paralyzed. NBC told ET that they are not commenting on pending litigation.

According to the lawsuit, which was obtained by ET, Goodwin, who previously appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent, was rehearsing for America’s Got Talent: Extreme when the incident in question occurred.

“On October 14, 2021, Mr. Harvey was catastrophically injured during rehearsals for the production of AGT: Extreme, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia,” the docs read. “Mr. Harvey was crushed and burned by two exploding motor vehicles, and was further injured when he fell approximately 20-40 feet and violently struck the ground.”

“Among other injuries, Mr. Harvey sustained a dislocated spinal cord, rendering him paraplegic; internal organ injuries, including the loss of his left kidney; fractures to his legs, ribs, and shoulders; and extensive third-degree burns,” the docs continued. “As a result of this catastrophic incident, he has suffered, and will continue to suffer, permanent physical, mental, and emotional injuries.”

The lawsuit claims that the defendants’ “actions and inactions constituted an extreme departure from what a reasonably careful person and/or entity would do.”

“Among other actions and inactions,” the lawsuit reads, “Defendants failed to implement industry safety standards, including, but not limited to, designing and modifying a stunt in a manner that made it highly likely to fail, hiring incompetent individuals to oversee and control the safety of the design and execution of the stunt, improperly controlling the design and execution of the stunt, failing to test the stunt without a live person after modifications were made, failing to implement and require adequate redundancies and suitable airbags (safety nets), and failing to ensure that adequate safeguards were taken to prevent injuries.”

The lawsuit continued, “Because of Defendants conscious disregard for the safety of others and for their gross wanton and reckless breaches, Mr. Harvey suffered catastrophic, life-altering injuries.”

In a statement to NBC News, Goodwin’s lawyer, Stuart Fraenkel, said the lawsuit “is yet another example of the entertainment industry putting profits and ratings before safety. It is the Rust and Resident Evil sets once again.”

“The producers and staff working on this show could have taken a number of simple steps to ensure Jonathan’s safety. Instead, the production was rushed, chaotic and staffed by a team that lacked the necessary expertise and experience,” Fraenkel said. “Jonathan will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life because there were inadequate safety practices, protocols and procedures in place to protect him.”

Fraenkel added, “He is bringing this claim to bring attention to an ongoing lack of safety problem in the entertainment industry. He hopes that by bringing this claim, lessons will be learned, changes will be made and others in the future will not be exposed to unnecessary risks and danger.”

Goodwin is seeking a jury trial and more than $25,000 in damages.

Back in 2022, Goodwin opened up about life after his accident in an interview with Good Morning America.

“I think that the people that have disabilities are largely underrepresented in the media. If I can use that position to be able to help other people — then I will,” he said. “Obviously there are lots of things that I have lost, but I’m not concentrating on that — for me, it was about creating a spectacle for an audience, showing people things that they’d never seen before. And that’s absolutely something I can still do. Maybe in a different form.”



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