July 05, 2013 4:59am PT by Austin Siegemund-Broka
Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions Sued Over Lost Fingers
The 2011 Adam Sandler comedy That's My Boy tanked at the box office, but thanks to a new lawsuit, it might cost its studios even more.
A Boston carpenter has sued Sony Pictures, subsidiary Columbia, and Sandler's Happy Madison Productions after suffering an injury building sets for That's My Boy in May 2011. Richard Houpert had several fingers partially cut off and sustained fractures on his right hand. He seeks $1 million in damages.
In his complaint, filed last week at the District Court in Boston, Houpert claims he was working with a table saw when his hand was "drawn into the saw." The saw was not properly fitted with safety components such as saw stops and safety guards, he claims, and the injuries to his right (dominant) hand have caused him loss of income.
Represented by Joan S. Amon, Houpert has sued Happy Madison Prods. for gross negligence, claiming “willful, wanton and reckless misconduct to wit their failure” to ensure the saw’s safety. “The cost to provide saws with saw stops, guards, or other safety equipment was minimal compared to the enormity of the risk of injury to the users of the saws,” the complaint argues.
Houpert has also targeted Sony and Columbia. The plaintiff claims the film production companies did not ensure safety on-set despite putting aside a monetary fund for that purpose.
Sony declined to comment.
The studios are not the only ones Houpert blames -- he has also taken aim at Black & Decker, the manufacturer of the saw. The Black & Decker 3-horsepower Delta unisaw was "dangerous and defective," and "not of merchantable quality and unfit for its intended and foreseeable uses," the complaint holds. Houpert claims negligence and breach of implied and express warranties.
Houpert has requested a trial by jury.
That's My Boy stars Sandler as a slacker who reunites with his embarrassed, estranged son. The film grossed less than $58 million worldwide on a $70 million budget and garnered eight Razzie nominations.