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Chelsea Piers' Star-Studded Gymnastics Program 'Permanently' Hurt Boy: Suit

By Mathew Katz | March 26, 2013 6:51am

CHELSEA — An off-Broadway costume designer is suing Chelsea Piers after staff at the popular gymnastics program — which has attracted such celeb offspring as Suri Cruise — allegedly allowed her young son to fall and suffer "severe and permanent injuries," according to court documents.

Michelle Humphrey, whose son Harrison was enrolled in Chelsea Piers' popular gymnastics program in June 2011, is seeking unspecified damages and reimbursement for medical expenses after her son's injury stopped him from being able "to perform...normal activities and duties," according to the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court last September.

The Piers' gymnastic program, which is known for grooming world-class athletes from a young age — has attracted a host of celebrity kids, including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' daughter Suri Cruise, Madonna's kids Rocco and Lourdes, and others.

According to the documents, Harrison was practicing gymnastics at Chelsea Piers on June 11, 2011, when he fell and was injured. The exact nature of his injuries were not included in the lawsuit.

Humphrey, who designs costumes for plays around the city and runs Beauty and the Hero, a children's entertainment company, out of her NoHo apartment, referred calls to her lawyer. Her husband Richard Humphrey, an angel investor and founder of the charter flight company Kavoo, did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

Humphrey's lawyer, Sean Coonerty, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Chelsea Piers would not comment on pending litigation. But in a note to the judge on Dec. 7, lawyer Keith Grover of Rivkin Radler LLP argued that any negligence or carelessness that caused the injury was the boy's fault, not that of the facility or its staff, documents show.

Both parties are set to appear before a judge in Manhattan's Supreme Court in April.