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Actor Van Damme Loses Appeal In Lawsuit By Injured Actor

September 7, 1994 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ A $487,000 award to an actor injured by Jean Claude Van Damme while filming ″Cyborg″ was upheld by an appeals court on Tuesday.

’There was ample testimony that (Van Damme) wanted his fight scenes to look as authentic and realistic as possible and that he had a reputation for engaging in excessive contact in order to do so,″ Judge John Martin wrote for the court.

Jackson ’Rock″ Pinckney, then a Fort Bragg-based Army soldier hired to play a villain, claimed he was partially blinded in his left eye after Van Damme stabbed him with a rubber prop knife in 1988. As a result, Pinckney was medically discharged from the Army.


Several other stuntmen and actors in ’Cyborg″ testified that Van Damme never pulled his punches to avoid unplanned contact. They said he was repeatedly warned to back off.

Van Damme had argued there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support a finding of willful and reckless conduct. He also claimed the case should have been thrown out because a juror visited a karate school and discussed it with an instructor.

The appeals court found the juror showed no prejudice in reaching a verdict.

Van Damme’s attorney, James A. Roberts of Raleigh, did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.

In the scene in which he was hurt, Pinckney was supposed to run through a pool of water, come to a stop and swing at Van Damme with a rubber knife. Van Damme was to simulate kicking the knife out of Pinckney’s hand, slashing his throat and beheading him.

During filming, the prop knife in Van Damme’s right hand struck Pinckney’s left eye.