Rosie Perez is suing the production company behind Law & Order: SVU after an appearance on the show resulted in serious injuries. Perez guest-starred on the show as the mother of an abused child on an episode shot in September 2009. During a staged fight between Perez and another actress, Perez claims one move caused her neck to become hemiated. After that injury, the actress underwent a discectomy to repair the damage.
During an appearance on Entertainment Tonight, Perez showed off a surgery scar last summer, telling the show surgeons cracked open her pelvis to remove bone marrow to place in her neck. Perez, also an HIV/AIDS activist, had to attend a White House meeting in a wheelchair. After spotting her, President Obama asked the veteran actress, "What the heck happened to you? Don’t you know they have professionals to do that?"
In her suit, Perez accuses Northern Entertainment Productions and DDF Films are accused of "recklessly and carelessly failing to provide skilled performers or experienced stunt personnel.” Perez's lawyer, Brian O' Dwyer, told the New York Post, "This is a case of a woman being severely injured because someone wasn’t taking care of the people who work for them.” He added, "We're going to make them pay."
The suit seeks unspecified damages, but O’Dwyer noted that it was a "very, very substantial case," and that Perez has gone without work for "quite a while."
(Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)