Rosie Perez Sues Law & Order: SVU After Suffering Injury on Set
Rosie Perez has filed suit against Law & Order: SVU over an injury she claims she sustained on set, The New York Daily News reports.
Perez, who guest-starred on the NBC drama in October 2009, claims she suffered a herniated disc that required two surgeries after she was forcibly shaken by an extra during shooting. "The thing to do was taking someone who knows what he's doing to make it look violent without being violent," the actress' lawyer, Brian O'Dwyer said, according to the newspaper. "This person was not a stuntman, he was just an extra."
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The suit, filed Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, claims that Perez carried on despite the pain, likely exacerbating her injuries. "There was pressure on her to continue and finish up the episode and she did," her lawyer said.
In the episode, Perez, 46, played an angry mother who sticks her head inside a car and chokes another mom when an actor dressed as a crossing guard pulls her away.
Perez underwent two operations, including a spinal fusion in July, when bone marrow from her pelvis was transplanted in her vertebrae. She attended an event at the White House with the aid of a wheelchair and neck brace days later.
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According to the lawsuit, Perez is still suffering severe pain, numbness of the arms and will "never be the same despite the surgery." The suit also alleges that Perez missed out on almost a year's worth of work because of the injury. "I'm on the mend. It's going slow, but I am getting better," she told CBSNews.com in October. "I started physical therapy finally, but everything is not completely fused yet in my neck, but it's getting there."
No specific dollar amount was mentioned in the suit, but Perez' lawyer demanded "very substantial" damages.
Perez, an Oscar nominee for her performance in Fearless, is also best known for her work in Do the Right Thing, White Men Can't Jump and Pineapple Express.