Friday , July 12 2024

Professional fortune-teller, 58, sues Vue cinema chain for £200,000 after suffering multiple injuries when he was ‘catapulted’ from a ‘defective’ seat while watching a movie

A professional fortune-teller is suing Vue Cinemas after suffering multiple injuries when he was ‘catapulted’ from a ‘defective’ seat.

Tarot card reader and actor Marcus Hunefalk-Franzen experienced the freak accident at Islington’s Vue Cinema when he was watching a matinee show in September 2015.

Mr Hunefalk-Franzen, 58, clattered to the ground after his seat suddenly collapsed without warning as he got up at the end of the film, Central London County Court heard.

As a result, the fortune-teller says he now suffers chronic neck and back pain, impaired hearing, taste and sense of smell.

He went on to sue Vue Entertainment Ltd, with the company admitting liability for the accident.

But the cinema chain’s lawyers are disputing the fortune teller’s £200,000 valuation of the claim.

Marcus Hunefalk-Franzen (pictured), 58, clattered to the ground after his seat suddenly collapsed without warning as he got up at the end of the film, Central London County Court heard

Marcus Hunefalk-Franzen (pictured), 58, clattered to the ground after his seat suddenly collapsed without warning as he got up at the end of the film, Central London County Court heard

The tarot card reader and actor experienced the freak accident at Islington's Vue Cinema when he was watching a matinee show in September 2015. Pictured: Vue Cinema in Islington

The tarot card reader and actor experienced the freak accident at Islington’s Vue Cinema when he was watching a matinee show in September 2015. Pictured: Vue Cinema in Islington

At the time of his accident, Mr Hunefalk-Franzen, of Camden, north London, was doing professional tarot readings at Greenwich market and operating under the Twitter handle £mypsychiceye.

He says the disaster badly impacted his earnings as a tarot reader and also lost him multiple acting and performing arts opportunities. 

The actor had previously starred in various short films including Ginger Beer, Perfekt(nok!) and A day in the life of happiness.  

Court documents filed on behalf of Mr Hunefalk-Franzen state: ‘During the course of his visit, the claimant sat on a chair to view a film within the auditorium.

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‘As he alighted from the chair, the chair collapsed in on itself and catapulted the claimant forward into the chair in front, causing a forward flexion and deceleration movement, resulting in soft tissue damage.

‘The claimant fell to the floor. By reason thereof, he has suffered personal injury, loss and damage.

‘It was later discovered that bolts anchoring the chair to the floor were missing, causing the chair to overturn.’

Mr Hunefalk-Franzen claimed the collapsing chair was ‘dangerously defective’ and became, in legal terms, a ‘trap’ for him.

He alleged fault by cinema staff in ‘failing to ensure the chair was sufficiently anchored to the floor by the negligent removal of safety bolts’.

Judge Yvette Genn, at a pre-trial hearing, described it as a ‘complex claim – complicated by the fact that there was a previous brain injury suffered by the claimant in 2004, although Mr Hunefalk-Franzen says he had recovered from that by 2013’.

Mr Hunefalk-Franzen, representing himself, told the judge he is only now beginning to mobilise properly again and ‘managing to start walking without a stick’.

He went on to sue Vue Entertainment Ltd, with the company admitting liability for the accident. But the cinema chain's lawyers are disputing the fortune teller's £200,000 valuation of the claim

He went on to sue Vue Entertainment Ltd, with the company admitting liability for the accident. But the cinema chain’s lawyers are disputing the fortune teller’s £200,000 valuation of the claim

Defence barrister David White disputed the value of the claim, insisting it is it is worth between £8,000 to £12,500.

He said Mr Hunefalk-Franzen had probably sustained a whiplash-type injury, but claimed the medical evidence ‘does not support the hearing loss or taste loss being attributable to this accident’.

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However, Mr Hunefalk-Franzen claims his fall had devastating effects on his health and career, leaving him with soft tissue injuries to his neck, lower back and legs, as well as head injuries.

Judge Genn directed that psychiatric and pain management evidence should be put together in preparation for a trial which is slated to start between November 2024 and February 2025.

MailOnline has contacted Vue Entertainment Ltd for a comment. 

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