Updated: Copperfield to Settle Labor Dispute

Inside Magic Image of World Famous Magician David CopperfieldThe industry news source The Wrap is reporting magician David Copperfield has reached a settlement in the lawsuit brought by former and current employees of his show at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Mr. Copperfield’s people correctly observed, “There are two sides to every story, and even the settlement agreement states that there was no wrong doing.  The Copperfield team settled because they prefer the employees benefit from the money rather than a three year fight where the only people that win are the lawyers.”

We know because we wear the dual hats of magician and lawyer.

A federal judge in Las Vegas provided preliminary approval of a settlement where Mr. Copperfield, Chris Kenner, Diappearing Inc. and other defendants would pay just over $550,000,00.

Fifteen named plaintiffs filed suit just about a year ago claiming they were denied overtime pay that was due to them.

According to The Wrap, the suit accused Copperfield of “consciously implement[ing] a system of coercion and deception aimed at denying employees their rights to overtime pay.”

The settlement would cover the 15 named plaintiffs as well as all “non-exempt present and former employees” who worked with the show between January 2012 and December 2013.

Under the proposed settlement, the defendants — who, in addition to Copperfield, include Chris Kenner, David Copperfield’s Disappearing Inc., Backstage Employment and Referral Inc., and Imagine Nation Company — “continue to deny liability under any of the Plaintiff’s claims.”

If the settlement goes through, class members of the suit would receive “on average $6,355.84 in overtime pay and liquidated damages,” which is “very significant when compared to similar collective action cases,” the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement says.

A fairness hearing for the proposed settlement is scheduled for May 26.