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Twitch is silent on Adriana Chechik’s injury at TwitchCon Foam Pit

A collage of three screenshots of streamer Adriana Chechik walking after back surgery.

You would never know that something terrible happened in the foam pit at TwitchCon last weekend if you just followed the official Twitch pages. The streaming platform has spent recent days talking about the good times at its signature conference on its social media, refusing to answer foam pit questions or comment on the condition of Adriana Chechik, a streamer and adult performer who broke her back in half. seats and underwent a five-hour operation this week to cure him.

Not commenting publicly on Chechik’s injuries is somewhat understandable – lawyers who spoke to Gizmodo about the case said it was not surprising – what seems startling and heartless is that the streaming platform has not even contacted Chechik privately. On Wednesday, the streamer revealed that no one from Twitch, the convention center where TwitchCon was held, or Lenovo, the company that sponsored the foam pit booth, had contacted her — even just to wish her a speedy recovery. .

“It seems strange to me that no one from the conference center, not at the booth, not even from the jerk had good wishes and nothing was said,” Chechik. tweeted after she emerged from a five and a half hour operation. “I don’t talk about it publicly, but not saying nice words to me until now is fucked up.”

Gizmodo reached out to Twitch several times for comment on the Chechik case and others injury reports in a foam pit this week, but was either turned over to Lenovo or told the company would not comment on the incident. Our last request for comment on Thursday received no response from Twitch at all.

Meanwhile, Lenovo told Gizmodo on Monday that it is aware of some streamers being injured in the foam pit at TwitchCon and that it is looking into the incidents with event organizers. It has since not responded to repeated requests for comment, even those asking if Intel co-sponsored its TwitchCon booth and foam pit, given that its logo was highly visible. Intel told Gizmodo on Thursday it had no comment and referred us to Lenovo.

Gizmodo also contacted the San Diego Convention Center to ask about Chechik’s injury in the foam pit and if he had contact with her, but received no response.

After reviewing the video of Chechik’s injury and reviewing the publicly available information, two doctors who spoke to Gizmodo said her injury was likely serious. They said that she might need physical therapy and rehab at the hospital. Lawyers who assessed publicly available information about the incident said that malpractice proceedings could be brought against Twitch, Lenovo, and any other company or person involved in the installation of the foam pit.

Her spine clenched “like an accordion”

Gizmodo spoke to three spine surgeons to better understand Chechik’s injury. Although the doctors we spoke to did not have access to the streamer’s medical records and had limited information, they analyzed her Styrofoam jump and the public statements about the care she received to try to paint a picture of what could have happened. We have also reached out to the Chechik team for comment but were told they are not ready to make a statement to the media.

The two doctors we spoke to said it was possible that Chechik had a compression fracture, which happens when one vertebral body presses against another. The applied force can cause weakness, breakage, or fracture of the bone. However, they also indicated that she may have sustained a burst fracture, a more serious injury that includes fractures to the anterior and posterior halves of the vertebral body.

Dr. Oren Gottfrieda complete professor neurosurgery and spine Duke University School of Medicinetold Gizmodo that the way Chechik fell into the foam pit suggested a significant axial load on her lumbar spine, which could have fractured one or two vertebral bodies. Gottfried believes that the scythe was most likely torn apart by the explosion.

“Think of an injury that compresses the spine like an accordion, but the bones are hard and rigid and they break from contact with each other,” Gottfried said in an email. “Typically, this type of injury can also fracture other surrounding bones, and sometimes the bone fragments can compress nerves. This is a very painful and serious injury.”

Gottfried explained that the fact that Chechik had surgery meant that she likely developed spinal instability as a result of the fall. A lengthy operation like hers aims to restore stability and support with tools such as screws and rods. Gottfried noted that even with surgery, many people wear a restrictive corset for three months. He added that the pain from this type of injury can be severe and difficult to manage, although it usually resolves within the first six weeks. According to Gottfried, the pain from the surgery can also be quite intense.

After Chechik’s surgery, physical therapy will likely be needed to restore her strength, range of motion and mobility as much as possible. Dr. Jonathan Stieberspine surgeon in New York.

Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Young, a neurosurgeon with special training in spine surgery in University of Calgary, said that the post-operative treatment of the streamer will depend on the state in which she came out of the operation. Yang noted that since Chechik appears to have bladder dysfunction (she has stated on social media that she needs a catheter to urinate), rehab will be required. In addition, if she has problems with leg motility, she will need physical and possibly hospital rehabilitation.

The neurosurgeon summed it up like this: the worse her condition, the more rehabilitation she would need.

Lawyers say Twitch’s silence is not surprising

On the legal side, Gizmodo spoke to two personal injury lawyers about the Chechik case about whether there were grounds for legal action. Both stated that while their analysis was limited to viewing only publicly available information about the accident, Chechik and others affected could potentially have a malpractice case against Twitch, Lenovo, and any other company or person responsible for installing the foam pit. on Twitchcon.

Allan Siegel, trial attorney and partner in Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, PC. in Washington, D.C., told Gizmodo that in order to prove a case of negligence, it must be established that Twitch or Lenovo “failed to exercise reasonable care.”

“Based on the information provided so far, it appears that there may have been several errors in the installation of the pit, including failing to make it deep enough to provide sufficient cushioning for users, and failing to decompose the foam blocks sufficiently,” Siegel. said in an email. Siegel added that the case would be governed by California law because the incident took place in California at the San Diego Convention Center.

Luc Abel, and personal injury lawyer in Abel law firm in Oklahoma City, said people injured in the Styrofoam Pit at TwitchCon are likely to file for damages and punitive damages if warranted. Abel explained that if the parties involved cannot come to a satisfactory resolution or settlement, the case usually goes to a jury, which determines the amount the affected parties can receive.

Asked about Twitch’s silence about injuries sustained by Chechik and others at the conference, both Siegel and Abel said they weren’t surprised. Siegel noted that lawyers often advise potential defendants not to discuss the case in the media. In addition, words can be durable.

“Comments made by either side could potentially be used against them later in negotiations or in court,” Abel said.

There has been some speculation about whether or not participants must sign a rights waiver before entering the foam pit at TwitchCon, but it’s not certain that this is true. Polygon informed that one of the participants said he signed the waiver but did not receive safety instructions. NBC News also reported that participants were asked to sign a waiver.

Gizmodo was unable to confirm whether foam fit participants must sign waivers, but we found that Lenovo, which sponsored the foam fit, asked people to accept certain conditions. He published Terms and Conditions for being on Twitter. In addition, Lenovo also inspired people to “take part in a pit dive!” in social networks.

Abel said the terms seem pretty standard. Whether this will affect the ability of Chechik or anyone else to bring suit will depend on the law in that jurisdiction, he added.

Chechik’s road to recovery

According to Gottfried, a professor of neurosurgery and spine at Duke University, patients with injuries like Chechik’s are asked to limit their activities for the first three to six months after surgery so they don’t stress or re-injure their backs. After this time and some treatment, patients can return to more normal activities, he said. However, if healing is poor, people may have to wait longer.

“It’s possible to go back to normal once everything has healed, but some people have lingering long-term pain or restrictions,” Gottfried explained, noting that in rare cases, some people develop chronic pain and even arthritis around the area. wound. “If the surgery went well and people follow all the recommendations for allowing time to heal and limiting activity, they will be fine.”

As for Chechik, the streamer seems to be trying to stay positive, although she is still clearly in a lot of pain. On social media, she asked if anyone knew where she could get a back brace. shone since she was going to be in it for a long time. Chechik has been posting almost daily updates on his condition on social media following the accident over the weekend.

On Thursday evening, Chechik also addressed people who criticized her for jumping into a foam pit. Some people, including those in the Gizmodo comment section, called her stupid for jumping or said she got what she asked for. Her message: Don’t blame the victim.

“For those who ask why you jumped. Don’t try to turn me into a bad guy. I am among all those who suggested that this was carried out with the proper precautions. It’s like getting into a car, assuming that the airbag will work, but it doesn’t, ”she said. tweeted. “I am not guilty. None of the victims were hurt.”

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