HONG KONG – A 22-year old former Disneyland theme park worker is seeking legal aid to sue the park for alleged negligence after sustaining injuries while performing in a Buzz Lightyear costume, a media report said on Friday.
If the application is granted, it will be the first injury claim against the park since the facility opened last September, the South China Morning Post said.
According to a doctor’s certificate, the performer, identified only as Michael, suffers pain in his neck, back and thigh from wearing the heavy costume, especially the head.
He played the role of the Toy Story character between September and July when he was sacked after taking six weeks’ sick leave.
Explaining how the neck injuries were caused, Michael said: ‘We have to lower our heads all the time because we look through the mouth of the character. On top of all the nodding and dancing, our necks are subjected to extra pressure when kids press down on us.’
The pain intensified over the summer when he performed in five or six parades a week. ‘Sometimes I woke up at four in the morning shivering with pain, but whenever I got back to my duties from sick leave I was still asked to attend the parade twice a day,’ he added.
He was sacked on July 31 after he returned to work after a week of unpaid sick leave.
Hong Kong Disneyland human resources senior vice-president Kerry Chandler said Michael was sacked following an evaluation of work-related factors, including attendance, performance and conduct. His dismissal was not related to the injuries, Chandler said.