Tippi Hedren Wins $1.5M Ruling After Gallon of Water Fell on Her Head

Image: Tippi Hedren Wins $1.5M Ruling After Gallon of Water Fell on Her Head

Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 03:06 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Tippi Hedren, who fended off violent winged creatures in the Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 classic "The Birds," has earned a nearly $1.49 million judgment after being hit in the head by a gallon of water that had fallen from the ceiling.

Hedren was rehearsing for a role on a TV show, "Fashion House," in 2006 when the water struck her, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The accident caused a recurrence of severe and persistent headaches that plagued her earlier in her life.

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Citing a 27-page appeal court judgment, The Telegraph reported that the water had "accumulated on a plastic tarp under the sound stage's plywood roof, possibly because a bird's nest was blocking a condensation tube in the air conditioning system."

It took nearly six years of lawsuits before a California appeals court decided Monday to affirm the judgment.

Hedren underwent spinal fusion surgery shortly before taking the part, and testified that the procedure eliminated those headaches. After the accident, she underwent treatments including chiropractic, acupuncture, Botox, and nerve block injections. Nothing worked.

She retained lawyer Joseph Allen in 2006 to file a personal injury claim against the owner of the sound stage. The suit was dismissed two years later and Hedren followed with a malpractice motion against Allen, asserting that he had been negligent in terms of the statute of limitations.

A jury determined what damages she reasonably could have received from the original lawsuit, and ordered them to be paid by the lawyer. The amount of $1,483,708 included $170,000 for future medical expenses and $440,308 for future lost earnings.

Judge William S. Dato later rejected Allen's appeal, ruling that there was "substantial evidence" that Hedren "suffered daily from severe headaches that limit her ability to take acting work and will require her to undergo invasive rhizotomy treatments to obtain relief from the pain."

Hedren, 83, is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith. She is best known for her role in Hitchcock's "The Birds" and "Marnie." She was portrayed by actress Sienna Miller in the 2010 HBO film "The Girl," which depicts Hedren's assertions of sexual harassment and mental cruelty during filming.

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