If Sam Worthington and Lara Bingle fail to settle a US$10 million (NZ$13 million) lawsuit brought by a New York paparazzo they will face a trial that will become a spectacle, the photographer's lawyer has warned.
Legal teams for Australian movie star Worthington, model Bingle and the paparazzo Sheng Li are scheduled to meet before a judge in Manhattan on Wednesday for a settlement conference.
Li filed the lawsuit after he alleged the couple viciously assaulted him on a New York street in February last year.
Li's lawyer, Mark Heller, said video footage of the incident would be damning if a trial went ahead.
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"If Mr Worthington and Ms Bingle were smart, they'd settle it because otherwise this case will become a real spectacle," Mr Heller told AAP on Monday.
"If you saw what went viral, it is not very pretty.
"It is the two of them beating up a defenceless paparazzi who was very seriously injured.
"I think it's clear society now doesn't like the abusive conduct by celebrities.
"A number of athletes recently lost their jobs when videos of them assaulting people went viral, so if this man wants to sell any movies, I would think he would try to resolve this in a proper and honourable way."
On December 12, Li underwent surgery to attempt to repair torn tendons on his rotator cuff caused by Worthington and Bingle, the lawyer said.
"He had a very serious operation and we don't know if it is going to cure the issue," Heller said.
"We'll have to see whether it works, but it is not very likely he'll be able to enjoy the profession he chose because he won't have the range of movement and dexterity.
"Of course, he has been psychologically damaged by this.
"He is very fearful to go out into this environment again where these celebrities are so abusive."
Worthington's lawyers, Michael Bono and Brian Gibbons, have argued in court Li voluntarily put himself in the situation and any damages sustained by the plaintiff were caused by the culpable conduct of the plaintiff.
Li had been taking photos of Bingle on New York streets.
"By entering into the activity in which the plaintiff was engaged at the time of the occurrence set forth in the complaint, plaintiff knew the hazards thereof and the inherent risks," the lawyers wrote.