A group of more than 50 former wrestlers has filed a lawsuit against WWE and chairman Vince McMahon citing long-term brain damage incurred from concussions.
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff are three of the dozens of plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court in Connecticut. While the wrestlers claim to be suffering from neurological damage from repeated concussions and head trauma, WWE denies the allegations.
“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,” according to the lawsuit, which does not say how much money the former wrestlers are seeking …
… Unlike other sports including football and hockey where players have suffered similar injuries, WWE wrestling matches involve specific moves scripted and choreographed by the WWE — thus making the company directly responsible for wrestlers’ injuries, according to the lawsuit …
… The WWE said in a statement that an attorney for the ex-wrestlers, Konstantine Kyros, has made similar claims against the company without success.
“This is another ridiculous attempt by the same attorney who has previously filed class action lawsuits against WWE, both of which have been dismissed,” the company’s statement said. “A federal judge has already found that this lawyer made patently false allegations about WWE, and this is more of the same. We’re confident this lawsuit will suffer the same fate as his prior attempts and be dismissed.”
The NFL recently settled a $1 billion suit by former players who suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a disease of the brain believed to be on-set from repeated concussions. The NHL also has a similar suit pending.
According to reports, Kyros said this new lawsuit against WWE includes allegations the company exploited wrestlers as independent contractors, refusing to provide them with health insurance. Other allegations include civil racketeering against McMahon.
Josh Helmuth is the editor of Crave Sports. Follow him on Twitter here.