A character actor at Disneyland who sprained his neck under the load of his Buzz Lightyear head is seeking legal aid to sue the theme park for negligence. If his application is granted, the case will be the first injury claim against the park. The 22-year-old man, who gave his name as Michael, greeted visitors as the Toy Story hero since the opening of the park last September until he was fired in July after taking six weeks' sick leave. 'We have to lower our heads all the time because we look through the mouth of the character,' he said yesterday. 'On top of all the nodding and dancing, our necks are subjected to extra pressure when kids press down on us.' Michael said his neck pain had intensified over the busy summer season when he performed in five or six parades a week, which he described as 'crazy' because some characters were only required to attend two or three a month. 'Sometimes I woke up at four in the morning shivering with pain, but whenever I got back to my duties from sick leave I was still asked to attend the parade twice a day,' he said. A doctor's certificate states Michael's neck, back and thigh pain are a result of 'dancing in heavy costume' and advises him to apply for a change of job or quit. 'I asked the stage manager if [the park] could reduce my round of parades in late June, but they did not give me any response,' he said. When he returned to the park after a week of unpaid sick leave on July 31, he was told the park no longer required his services. 'We were never taught how to protect ourselves,' he said. 'Our trainers only asked us to do more fitness [training] before the show, but that doesn't help.' The Form Five graduate, who has been unemployed for more than a month now, said the problem of his neck pain had limited his job opportunities. Hong Kong Disneyland human resources senior vice-president Kerry Chandler said Michael's sacking was not based on the injury, but on careful evaluation of work-related factors, including attendance, performance and conduct. Disney said all of its cast members received training to enable them to meet the company's requirements.