Former Pro Wrestlers Sue WWE for Traumatic Head Injuries, Health Issues
By Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP | July 26, 2016
Several former professional wrestlers recently filed a class action lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., which is better known as the WWE. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a number of pro wrestlers who allege that they suffered traumatic head injuries and long-term health consequences as a result of negligence by their employer.
There are a total of 53 former WWE wrestlers who have joined a class action lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, where the WWE is headquartered.
Among the wrestlers joining the high-profile class action lawsuit so far are Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff, Salvador “Chavo” Guerrero IV, Chris “King Kong Bundy” Pallies, and Terry “Sabu” Brunk. Additionally, Earl Hebner and Dave Hebner, twins who were employed as referees during WWE wrestling matches, have also joined the lawsuit. In total, there are currently 53 plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit seeking damages for head injuries suffered while working for the WWE.
Seeking Damages for Negligence by the WWE
The former employees allege that they have suffered “long-term neurological injuries” because their employer “routinely failed” to provide them with the kind of competent, meaningful medical care that they needed. Moreover, the plaintiffs claim that the WWE attempted to cover up company negligence by “fraudulently misrepresenting and concealing” the degree of the injuries suffered by the wrestlers.
It is expected that the WWE will raise a “contact sports exception” for negligence in these types of cases. In other cases involving traumatic head injuries sustained by athletes who play football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, courts have insulated league operators against liability. The plaintiffs in the recent wrestling class action lawsuit have anticipated this argument by the WWE and said that WWE wrestling matches can be differentiated from other contact sports because they “involve very specific moves that are scripted, controlled, directed, and choreographed by WWE.” This is an important distinction, argued the plaintiffs’ lawyers, because it means that the wrestlers’ head injuries “were the direct result of the WWE’s actions.”
For additional information about the class action lawsuit against the WWE, view the Chicago Tribune article, “Dozens of Wrestlers Sue WWE over CTE, Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries.”
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney immediately. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP can help you get the financial compensation you need, want and deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation about your case.