You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Metro

Acrobats hurt in fall hire legal firm

Performers hang during an aerial hair-hanging stunt at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The trick went wrong in Providence, R.I., last month when eight performers fell to the ground.

AP

Performers hang during an aerial hair-hanging stunt at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The trick went wrong in Providence, R.I., last month when eight performers fell to the ground.

Seven of the eight hair-hanging circus acrobats who fell to the ground during a ‘‘human chandelier’’ stunt in Providence last month have hired a Chicago-based law firm to represent them, the firm announced Monday.

The women were injured during a May 4 performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus when the apparatus from which they were suspended fell, sending them plummeting to the ground.

Continue reading below

Michael Krzak, a lawyer with Clifford Law Offices, said the firm was recently hired and had not filed a lawsuit, but is conducting an in-depth investigation into what happened.

He said the firm plans to make available four of the injured acrobats to speak at a press conference Tuesday at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, although that number could change depending on their condition.

While one of the acrobats, Samantha Pitard, was released from the hospital within days, some have severe injuries, and doctors have said it is not clear whether two with spinal cord injuries will walk again. The law firm said some of the women are undergoing physical therapy. Some are still using wheelchairs, and it is unknown to what extent they will regain the full use of their limbs. Some of the women require more surgery.

When asked about their condition and where they are seeking treatment, Krzak called it a ‘‘fluid situation’’ and said they are often in and out of facilities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

‘‘They’re going wherever they need to go to get the care they need,’’ he said.

Pitard, 23, a native of Champaign, Ill., is among the seven who hired the law firm, said a firm spokeswoman. Krzak said the eighth acrobat had hired a local lawyer because of what he termed a personal decision. He said he expected he would work with that lawyer.

The other injured acrobats are from Brazil, Bulgaria, and Ukraine.

Stephen Payne — a spokesman for Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus — said the women are still covered by the company’s health insurance but he did not know details about their condition because the families had asked for privacy.

Providence police have said they suspect a 4-to-5-inch steel carabiner clip at the top of the apparatus snapped. It was found in three pieces on the ground.

Police turned the clip and the results of their investigation over to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, where investigators said they were still probing the accident on Monday.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week