In a Connecticut lawsuit filed Monday, more than 50 ex-wrestlers claim that the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. should be held responsible for the long-term neurological damage they sustained and that the WWE failed to take care of those injuries.
Among the plaintiffs are 72-year-old Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, 55-year-old Joseph "Road Warrior Animal" Laurinaitis, and 66-year-old Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Also included in the plaintiffs are former referees Earl and Dave Hebner who have experienced cognitive difficulties according to the complaint.
Snuka was charged in the 1983 death of his girlfriend near Allentown, Pennsalvania, but was ruled incompetent to stand trial. His defense partly blamed Snuka's inability to stand trial on the head trauma he suffered during his stint in the ring.
The plaintiffs claims that while they were affiliated with the WWE that the concussions and head trauma they sustained has resulted in long-term brain damage. They also accused the WWE of "concealing the risks of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other traumatic brain injuries attributable to wrestling, including through 'scripted' moves it choreographed," according to CNBC.
The WWE has denied the allegations filed by the ex-wrestlers. They also mentioned that the attorney for the ex-wrestlers has previously made other false claims against the company, and filed lawsuits that were eventually dismissed. The WWE said they are "confident this lawsuit will suffer the same fate."
Other claims against the WWE include the dismissal of suits claiming the company hid the risks of head trauma from wrestling. The WWE is not the only organization to have been sued recently by former players, the National Football League and National Hockey League have also been sued by some of their retired injuries over head injuries.
The case is titled Laurinaitis et al v. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc et al, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, No. 16-01209.
Do you think these ex-wrestlers are entitled to some form of compensation from the WWE from the injuries they sustained while wrestling?