Dozens of wrestlers sue WWE over CTE, effects of traumatic brain injuries

mr. sin

Registered User
#1
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/ct-wwe-cte-lawsuit-20160719-story.html

A class-action lawsuit against the WWE was filed Monday on behalf of dozens of pro wrestlers, including Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Joseph "Road Warrior Animal" Laurinaitis. The suit alleges that the wrestlers incurred "long term neurological injuries" in the course of working for the company, while it "routinely failed to care" for them " in any medically competent or meaningful manner" and even "fraudulently misrepresented and concealed" the nature and extent of those injuries.

"Instead of upholding its duty to its employees, WWE placed corporate gain over its wrestlers' health, safety, and financial security, choosing to leave the Plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies," stated the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, where the WWE is located.

Other well-known wrestlers whose names are attached to the suit include Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff, Salvador "Chavo" Guerrero IV, Chris "King Kong Bundy" Pallies and Terry "Sabu" Brunk. Earl and Dave Hebner, twins who have long worked as referees in wrestling matches, are also among the 53 plaintiffs, with WWE owner Vince McMahon listed as a defendant along with his company.

Snuka, 73, is being represented in the lawsuit by his wife, Carole. In June, a judge ruled him mentally incompetent to stand trial for murder and manslaughter charges in a 33-year-old case involving the death of a former girlfriend. Defense attorneys and expert witnesses argued that Snuka suffered from extreme dementia and had gotten his "bell rung a few times" during his wrestling career.

The class-action suit addressed the possibility of the company invoking a contact-sports exception for negligence liability by stating, "WWE wrestling matches, unlike other contact sports, involve very specific moves that are scripted, controlled, directed and choreographed by WWE. As such the moves that resulted in Named Plaintiffs' head injuries were the direct result of the WWE's actions."

"The wrestling moves that involve the occupational head trauma that causes CTE and associated diseases from the accumulated effects of TBIs [traumatic brain injuries] are the result of wrestling moves and maneuvers that were performed 'correctly' by the Plaintiffs," the lawsuit said. "In other words, the head trauma that has resulted in injury is the accumulated effect of many impacts to the Plaintiffs' heads that occurred on a regular, routine basis during their WWE career."

The WWE responded with a statement, saying (via Bloomberg) "This is another ridiculous attempt by the same attorney who has previously filed class-action lawsuits against WWE, both of which have been dismissed. A federal judge has already found that this lawyer made patently false allegations about WWE, and this is more of the same."

The lawyer in question, Massachusetts-based Konstantine Kyros, has previously filed lawsuits against the WWE, with similar claims. The company has succeeded in having some of those suits dismissed, but one involving former WWE wrestlers Vito LoGrasso and Evan Singleton is still being contested in court.

"Plaintiffs were professional wrestlers who were financially compensated to engage in an activity in which physical violence was a known and even purposeful part of the activity," U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant wrote in March, while dismissing complaints against the WWE brought by Russ McCullough, Matthew "Luther Reigns" Wiese, Ryan Sakoda and William Albert "Billy Jack" Haynes, all of whom were represented at least partially by Kyros. "They were injured by other participants in what the plaintiffs describe as a 'scripted' performance and thus in a manner that the plaintiff knew or should have reasonably anticipated."

As part of the LoGrasso-Singleton proceedings, lawyers for the WWE have subpoenaed Bennet Omalu, the neuropathologist who first identified CTE, seeking to have him turn over his research on Chris Benoit and other deceased wrestlers. Omalu claimed that a posthumous examination of the brain of Benoit, who hanged himself after murdering his wife and son in 2007, revealed CTE, and the physician has been studying the brains of more recently deceased wrestlers such as Joanie "Chyna" Laurer, Jonathan "Balls Mahoney" Rechner and Brian "Axl Rotten" Knighton.

The NFL and NHL have also seen class-action lawsuits related to players suffering brain injuries. In April, a federal judge upheld a settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players that could result in total payments of $1 billion.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
#2
They are wrestlers. By definition, they had no brain to damage.
 
#3
How are guys like Chavo Jr. going to justify suing over the dangers of head trauma caused by wrestling when they're STILL wrestling? And what the fuck are referees doing suing over that? Are the Hebners that hard up for cash? And Save did stupid shit all over the country for ECW and indy feds. How many matches did he actually have as an employee - excuse me, independent contractor - of WWF/WWE?
 

Biff Hardslab

I have the t-shirt
#4
Didn't Sabu have about 3 matches in WWE? None of what he did in ECW or the indy's scrambled his head, it's WWE's fault.

Jim Powers? That hump worked 60 seconds on the receiving end of squash matches on "Wrestling Challenge" in the 80's.

The Hebners? I guess Hogan must have roughed them up too much after he lost to Andre in 1988.
 

Frankie_b

Talk softly and drive a big tank!
#5
Didn't Sabu have about 3 matches in WWE? None of what he did in ECW or the indy's scrambled his head, it's WWE's fault.

Jim Powers? That hump worked 60 seconds on the receiving end of squash matches on "Wrestling Challenge" in the 80's.

The Hebners? I guess Hogan must have roughed them up too much after he lost to Andre in 1988.
Didnt the WWE always hold a percentage of ECW?
 
#6
Didnt the WWE always hold a percentage of ECW?
Not that I'm aware of. They bought the name and video library after ECW folded. Maybe Vince threw them some cash before then but I'm not sure if that's been confirmed. If he did, it was likely just to keep them afloat and have an advantage over WCW when they saw someone they liked.
 

Frankie_b

Talk softly and drive a big tank!
#7
Not that I'm aware of. They bought the name and video library after ECW folded. Maybe Vince threw them some cash before then but I'm not sure if that's been confirmed. If he did, it was likely just to keep them afloat and have an advantage over WCW when they saw someone they liked.
WCW took more ECW talent than WWE because they could/would pay more. Sure they nearly went down the tubes and Vince bought a part of them to keep them going. I'm probably completely wrong and if that'd the case then..'rasslins fuh fags
 

Medicine Man

Yacht Rockin' with the SS Waffen
Donator
#8
I was under the impression that the wrestlers themselves had a say in what bumps they took. This just looks like a cash grab.
 

Lord Zero

Registered User
#9
I hate that the ambulance chasing elements of this lawsuit are going to overshadow the contract fraud elements, which are legitimate.
 
#10
Didnt the WWE always hold a percentage of ECW?
WCW took more ECW talent than WWE because they could/would pay more. Sure they nearly went down the tubes and Vince bought a part of them to keep them going. I'm probably completely wrong and if that'd the case then..'rasslins fuh fags
The only confirmed money Vince gave to ECW was when 2 Cold Scorpio went to the WWE as Flash Funk and Vince reimbursed him for the lost advertising revenue they got for his theme music. Everything else is speculation and hearsay (which is probably real).
 
#11
WCW took more ECW talent than WWE because they could/would pay more. Sure they nearly went down the tubes and Vince bought a part of them to keep them going. I'm probably completely wrong and if that'd the case then..'rasslins fuh fags
I should have clarified that I meant later years. Vince got the Dudleys and Taz while WCW got Mike Awesome and Sandman. Vince even let ECW have Taz go back to win the ECW title after Mike Awesome left with it. I don't know for sure how much of a relationship there was between the companies, but it seemed like Vince got the better guys in later years.
 
#13
Did Vince get the better talent or was he just the better marketer? No one was hotter than Sandman in ECW and WCW just took all of his heat and threw it in the trash.
He was popular in ECW, but was the Sandman ever really a good worker or just good at the garbage brawl match? Taz had decent ability and the Dudleys could put together great tag matches. They had their "get the tables" gimmick and the TLC matches but didn't HAVE to rely on hardcore matches to be entertaining. I think WCW got more overall talent from ECW at first, but Vince got some great guys from them too and later on got the best of what was left, even if they didn't really get much out of Taz in the ring for whatever reason. I'm sure Vince's size fetish played a role, but someone saw something in him worth signing before that.
 
#14
He was popular in ECW, but was the Sandman ever really a good worker or just good at the garbage brawl match? Taz had decent ability and the Dudleys could put together great tag matches. They had their "get the tables" gimmick and the TLC matches but didn't HAVE to rely on hardcore matches to be entertaining. I think WCW got more overall talent from ECW at first, but Vince got some great guys from them too and later on got the best of what was left, even if they didn't really get much out of Taz in the ring for whatever reason. I'm sure Vince's size fetish played a role, but someone saw something in him worth signing before that.
When you add the cruiserweights, WCW definitely got better talent from ECW. Tazz sucked in WWE for a few reasons, he had a fucked up neck, he was small, and he was a bad promo. Paul could hide his lack of promo ability, size wasn't an issue in ECW, and his neck didn't get fucked until the end of his ECW run.
 
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