Big news coming out of the pro-wrestling world, many of the former superstars who at one time or more in their career have wrestled for WWE are now claiming lawsuits against the company that WWE did not protect them from repeated injuries to the head. In fact, these wrestlers will be taking the case to the United States Supreme Court.
Going back to September of 2020, WWE was victorious because a federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit that had been filed by more than fifty former talents, a lot of which became stars in the 1980s and the 1990s. Their argument was that WWE didn’t protect them from suffering multiple head injuries, including concussions that would lead to long-term brain damage. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City was in agreement with U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant a federal judge based in Hartford, Connecticut. She was the one that had dismissed those lawsuits from two years ago. She stated such claims were frivolous or filed after the statute of limitations had expired.
The Minnesota Star Tribune provided an update on the situation by reporting the wrestlers’ attorney Konstantine Kyros filed a request late this past Wednesday, February 17th, where he asked the Supreme Court to hear appeals of lower court rulings that had dismissed these lawsuits.
A list of a who’s who from our wrestling past were plaintiffs that included WWE Hall of Famers, wrestling legends. Here are the names of those wrestlers: the late Road Warrior Animal, Paul Orndorff, also the late Jimmy Snuka, and the late King Kong Bundy, Mr. Fuji and Kamala who also have since passed away. Chavo Guerrero Jr., Ahmed Johnson, former referees the Hebner brothers Earl and Dave, Sabu, Barry Darsow, Shane Douglas, Marty Jannetty, and Heidenreich, and that’s only several out of a whole bunch of ex-WWE talent who are represented. Vince McMahon the Chairman & CEO for WWE was the one listed defendant in the suit.
WWE would go on to deny any of the allegations made against them not protecting their stars. A WWE spokesperson told The Newspaper The Star Tribune that the lawsuits are without merit.
Kyros was very vocal in his criticism when it came to how the lower court ruled and went on record to say the wrestlers have been “deprived of their fundamental rights as U.S. Citizens, and their right to appeal as well.” Kyros also made the statement when addressing the 2nd Circuit court concerning their rejection of earlier appeals due to final rulings having not been made in all of the lawsuits. It was after Judge Bryant made those final rulings dating back to 2018, Kyros made an appeal again, however, he stated the 2nd Circuit also rejected those appeals, saying they had been filed too late this according to a new legal precedent set by the Supreme Court. Judge Bryant, in her 2018 ruling, criticized Kyros for failing to comply with court rules and orders on multiple occasions. She ordered him to pay WWE’s legal fees of more than $500,000.
What the lawsuits are claiming is that WWE is directly responsible for these wrestlers’ injuries because unlike in sports like football and hockey, where players would face similar injuries, WWE matches involved scripted and more choreographed-based moves. The NHL and NFL have been sued by some of their former players who also suffered injuries to the head. The NHL settled for $18.9 million while the NFL settled for $1 billion.
We will keep you updated on more details on the matter, when they become available.