Former WWE Wrestlers Follow Lead of NFL Concussion Litigation
I grew up watching Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, Bam Bam Bigelow and the like wrestling at the Cow Palace in Daly City. Naturally, news about the injuries wrestlers may or may not have sustained while entertaining me, as a 9 year-old, got my attention. I never thought about how much of their “job” was about getting hurt (or at least looking like they were).
On January 16, 2015, two former World Wrestling Entertainment (“WWE”) wrestlers, Vito LoGrasso (aka “Big Vito” or “Skull Von Krush”) and Evan Singleton (aka “Adam Mercer”) filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for “egregious mistreatment of its wrestlers for its own benefit.” The allegations echo those alleged in the suits currently pending against the NFL and include six causes of action: (1) fraudulent concealment, (2) negligent misrepresentation, (3) negligence, (4) declaratory and injunctive relief, (5) medical monitoring and (6) strict liability for abnormally dangerous activities.
The suit alleges that the wrestling tricks performed (and required) by WWE wrestlers involved harmful striking of their heads. According to the former WWE wrestlers, they were encouraged and paid to get hurt. They claim that WWE failed to protect its wrestlers and deliberately heightened the violence of its matches in order to liven up audiences and increase profits.
Both wrestlers allege that they now suffer from traumatic head injuries which have led to migraines, memory loss, depression and deafness. The injuries, they claim, are the result of sustaining blows to the head from chairs, metal garbage cans, baseball bats and being thrown through tables during matches. According to the complaint, WWE concealed injuries and failed to disclose relevant medical literature to its clients leaving the wresters vulnerable to the impending risks.
For a copy of the complaint filed, click on the following:
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