When actor Parker Mills stepped into a Donkey Kong costume to promote the launch of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D at the Los Angeles Zoo last year, he most likely assumed the job would be a piece of cake — after all, what's better than being the mighty Kong for a day, right?
However, Mills ended up earning more than just his pay-check for the gig. He suffered an aortic dissection for his troubles — the tearing of aortic walls — which meant he had to undergo major heart surgery and get a permanent defibrillator installed.
Mills is now suing Nintendo, claiming that unsafe working conditions contributed to his illness. He says he was denied proper breaks and wasn't given the ice packs which would have helped him remain cool while working in blistering LA heat. He also says that Nintendo was supposed to provide him with an official escort to assist in his activities, but this never happened.
While the situation might sound comical on paper, Mills has clearly suffered an incredible hardship and received life-changing injuries as a result of taking on this job. It remains to be seen if Nintendo itself will ultimately be held accountable — our friends at Eurogamer have contacted the company, but it has declined to comment.
[source eurogamer.net, via latimes.com]
Lets hope the media doesn't go to far with this one. Also the heart problems may have been already creeping up on him. Sure his claims may be correct but necessarily blaming the heart problems on Nintendo may not be right. Especially since he may have had them before.
Hyperthermia lowers blood pressure, that's why you get dizzy when you overheat, an aortic dissection is mostly caused by high blood pressure...figure it out
Also he had a duty of care to take care of himself, if he was suffering in his suit he should have taken a break, got out of the suit, cooled off and found his icepack, the Zoo would have them.
I know what aortic dissection is, and I don't see how wearing a suit could cause it. It makes no sense.
This sounds weird.
If he suffered the way he claims while doing the Donkey Kong event, which I think is entirely possible, would that even cause the condition described? Aortic tearing would have forced him to be carted off via ambulance based on what I've read - it manifests suddenly, extremely painfully, and doesn't seem to be normally caused by overheating or overworking the way he describes.
That doesn't mean the working conditions should be excused - sounds like he got hosed on that job - but I can't help but wonder if the connection he's claiming between working condition and heath condition is being overstated.
Ah, USA and its many nonsense prosecutions to get money for anything !!!
I saw the thread about this like 3 days ago.
@shaneoh If he walked off and took a break without consent of the event reps, I'm pretty damn sure he would not have gotten paid.
Yes he has duty of care for himself, but when we're talking about overheating in a suit merely for PR fluff just to get paid, that's when it goes too far.
He forgot to eat a banana before he wears the suit.
He would be entitled to his pay as long as the break was to take care of himself. If he were to go off just to have a cigarette break, then his pay could be docked. A company cannot force you to keep going until you fall over dead, and you're not allowed to force yourself to do it either. It's exactly what a lunch break is for, to give nourishment to keep going through the afternoon. He was well within his right to take a break to cool off, and he should have.
Is it weird that my initial reaction was to hope this poor guy gets nothing from Nintendo? Or that I'd sell my gran to see Satoru Iwata elected head of the new world government?
I'm not doubting that him overheating in that suit contributed to his condition, but it certainly couldn't have been the only thing to trigger it.
Its still not right to deny someone water breaks when wearing such a suit outside in the heat, though!
Why isn't this a workers comp issue?
Nintendo is cruel behind the scenes; I hope this guy wins.
Heat usually does not cause major heart problem.... you'd be more likely to suffer from heat stroke and pass out from dehydration before you have a this kind of heart trouble. The only way I can see this possibly helping result in it is if the suit caused him a lot of stress.. and I mean a lot, otherwise this was something that was already creeping up on him due to high blood pressure (wouldn't surprise me as it is a very common thing is North America and is almost symptomless) or something like that. I call this a bogus excuse just to pin the blame on someones unhealthiness on someone else. I'm sorry, i know i should feel bad for the guy but it annoys me so much when people want to pin the blame before they want to take a look at their own healthy habits first and decide if it something they could have prevented through better life choices or not.
Yeah, he should get some compensation for some kind for mistreatment during the job and would probably go to the department of Labour (don't know what the American version of that is called), but his heath condition shouldn't have the blame put on Nintendo.
Wearing those suits is supposed to be brutal — can't imagine doing it in sweltering LA heat with no ice pack, so yeah, I'd be suing too. You should always refuse to do work if you think it's unsafe though.
Okay, the denied breaks and ice packs are definitely a thing. Hit 'em.
Disney's guys in suits go out for 20-30 mins and get a 10-20 min break. there is always at least ONE person helping them(so they don't get run over by kids). So if they didn't do those things and that is the cause of his problems then yes, Nintendo is in the wrong.
How can anyone wear those suits?It looks like torture especially if the sun is scorching hot!
Why did he not just take the suit off? No offense, but if someone stuck me in a suit in sweltering heat and was doing all that, I'd be quitting. I feel like neither side was aware of the potential damage that it may have caused, but this guy figured he'd tough it out. I can understand unsafe working conditions, but there's a point where you have to take responsibility for your own health. Money cannot buy health.
Most likely this was done via a 3rd party events company anyway, it might have been Nintendo's overall responsibility, but directly, the chap and his bosses on the day were probably representing Nintendo's brand rather than actually employed by them.
I never knew there were so many cardiac physicians amongst the NL members.
Idiot. He shouldn't have accepted the gig if he had a weak heart!! Hopefully he is unsuccessful.
In my opinion, I think the actor is not to blame. If he was in that costume, it would make a difference. Nintendo, this one time I'm gonna blame you.
I read in different sites that it was the guys lawyer that said about bad working conditions and not the actor.
Ouch my Wii U just fell and squash my foot, I'm gonna sue them too.
I hope the guy wins this one, but I also hope he doesn't sue Nintendo for too much.
That tagline though
Nintendo could do no wrong. Let's all blame the actor! He should've quit. It's so easy for struggling actors to find steady incomes.
He shouldn't have been Monkeying around!
I highly doubt Nintendo is directly responsible for this they probably outsourced the event and all that. But I agree that if the mans claims are true regarding his work condition he has right to complain about that.
Still it's not good press for big N but Regie seems fine working in his ape suit all day
Aoetic bleeding is NOT connected to over heating. Im not claiming to be an md but thats a problem derived from a WHOLE lot more than dinking around in a suit. This is a cash grab to grab some settlement money from Nintendo. Ufortunately/fortunately his moronic lawyers dont know that Nintendo rarely settles but will see him in court.
So a failed actor is now in search of a payday kek XD
Well it's not an actor you want in the suit, but an entertainer, someone used to being a clown and wearing hot, confining suits. But a guy suing over a condition that wasn't caused by his complaint (aortic dissection = high blood pressure, hyperthermia = low blood pressure) in a land where the slightest exaggeration in speech leaves you liable for a lawsuit, yeah I'm siding with Nintendo on this one.
In Aigis voice: I am overheating!?
We should all send him bananas. Aorta.
It does seem like it's mainly his fault. If he really didn't get breaks, an assistant, and some form of cooling like he asked for, then that's definitely Nintendo's fault, but otherwise it seems like he had a weak heart or something.
Fawful voice: "OUCH! IT IS THE OVERHEAT!"
He just wants money. Probably he would have had that heart-attack working inside a Donkey Kong suit just as well he may had the heart-attack lying on his bed.
Anyway, in order to avoid this, the Nintendo contractors should have kept the promise of giving him security as said.
I agree with the others that wearing that suit would not give him that heart problem. Dehydration, heat stroke and maybe passing out would be the problems he could have. He was definitely mistreated, he should have had frequent breaks and an escort. He may have a case there, but the heart condition is not related. I'm sure the heart condition was not helped by the situation, but it was not the cause.
@gurtifus You're seriously citing this as proof and basing the stereotyping of an entire country based upon it? I'm assuming you aren't American, in which case you really aren't qualified to make such blanket statements about a foreign country and it's citizens. At least not any statement(s) that should be mistaken for fact.
@k8sMum A few attorneys too. lol
Isn't it ironic that the picture attached to the article is of a DK actor in suit in the shade?
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