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Zombie actress sues over ‘scars for life’ after freak accident at Halloween horror show – The Telegraph

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A “zombie” actress who says her face was scarred for life in a freak accident during a Halloween show is suing the company that runs the castle where it was staged for £100,000.

Helena Westerman, 24, claims she was left with five fractured teeth and permanent facial scarring after she was hit by a deactivated grenade at Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex.

She said the prop, thrown by another actor, struck her in the mouth while she was portraying a “mad scientist and zombie” character in an interactive show in October 2015.

Miss Westerman was shuffling out of the shadows in full costume and makeup to terrify a fee-paying audience in the moments before the accident, court documents say.

The writer and theatre producer claims she had to undergo six months of intensive dental treatment and suffered depression, anxiety and an “adjustment disorder” due to the incident. 

She has now sued the Alan Goldsmith Organisation Ltd – the firm that runs the castle – accusing it of failing to provide a safe system of work.

Her solicitor, Nicola Hall, said: “On previous nights, she pretended to fall to the ground, giving the impression that the explosion had killed the zombies, and she would then get up shortly after.

“However, on the date of the accident, the metal grenade was thrown by an actor, but hit the claimant in the face, knocking her to the ground, and causing her to hit her head and injure her back.”

In court documents filed at Central London County Court, the Alan Goldsmith Organisation has denied negligence. 

Its lawyers insist it had nothing to do with managing the spectacle at the Norman-style fortress, which was restored by Alan Goldsmith in the 1980s. 

The defence statement also states that Miss Westerman, of Hammersmith, west London, sent text messages after the incident describing it as an “accident” and “just an incredibly unlucky event”.

“Following this incident, not even Miss Westerman considered the event to be anything other than a mistake by the other actor involved, despite the assertions now made,” the company added.

A trial will take place at Central London County Court on a date yet to be set. 

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