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'Ghost Rider' stuntman Michael Gaboff files lawsuit

UPI News Service, 03/10/2013 

A film stuntman has filed a lawsuit against Sony Pictures over a stunt he says left him suffering life-threatening injuries and $1 million in medical bills.

Michael Gaboff, known as "Crazy Mike," filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, alleging Sony, producers Break Media and Next Point Inc. were negligent in the execution of a stunt connected to the April 2012 DVD release of "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," The Hollywood Reporter said.

The stunt "involved the intentional lighting on fire of the body of Mike Gaboff while at the same time having Mike Gaboff ride a motorcycle that was to jump over a body of water while on fire," the lawsuit alleges.

However, the stunt did not go according to plan and Gaboff was left with a broken back, collapsed lungs and second-degree burns, the lawsuit stated.

Gaboff said he tried to talk to producers about the level of danger associated with the stunt, but they "consciously chose to proceed with the dangerous activity with a conscious disregard of the safety of those observing the activity," the suit alleged.

A Sony representative declined to comment on the lawsuit, but at the time of the incident, Break Media issued a statement to ABC News saying "[Gaboff was hired] as an independent third party and was fully responsible for the design and execution of the stunt. Any claims to the contrary are false."

Gaboff is seeking unspecified damages on causes of action for negligence, peculiar risk, ultra-hazardous activity and breach of contract.

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