Getting Tossed Around: Second Circuit Dismisses Premature Appeal in WWE Concussion Lawsuit

On September 27, 2016, the Second Circuit dismissed a former WWE wrestler’s appeal, reasoning that the appeal needed to wait until he and the other wrestlers suing the WWE handle their claims in district court. The attempted appeal arose out of a lawsuit against the WWE for allegedly hiding the risks of traumatic brain injuries. Back in May, William Albert Haynes III told the Second Circuit that he had the right to appeal the district court’s dismissal of his claims. Haynes argued that a…
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Escaping the Chokehold: Former WWE Wrestlers Seeking to Withdraw Admission Statements in Brain Injury Lawsuit

On Monday, September 12, 2016, former WWE wrestlers Evan Singleton and Vito Lograsso argued in a Connecticut federal court that their “slightly delayed service” in response to the WWE’s request for admission should not preclude them from withdrawing statements regarding when they first became aware of the risk of concussion injuries. While the wrestlers’ argument is that the WWE withheld vital information with regards to the health dangers of repeated concussions, the WWE’s response is that the suit is time-barred; the WWE insists that the…
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WWE Rings the Bell Again, Asks Judge to Throw More Brain-Injury Claims Out

On Thursday, September 8, 2016, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. requested that a Connecticut federal judge preemptively disallow four former professional wrestlers from bringing any claims relating to brain injuries spawning from their times working to the entertainment company. According to the WWE, the latest round of ex-pro wrestlers can’t bring such claims because they are timebarred. Connecticut has a three year statute of limitations for any general tort claim; as well, it recognizes a two year statutory time period for potential plaintiffs to bring suit…
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“Buff” Bagwell Sues WWE for Royalties

Former professional wrestler Marcus “Buff” Bagwell sued World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) on Tuesday, August 9, alleging Bagwell and other wrestlers were denied royalties by WWE. Specifically, the proposed class action suit claims WWE sold pay-per-view content and matches through the WWE Network, a Netflix-type streaming service for fans, and breached contracts with the wrestlers by not paying royalties. Bagwell claims his World Championship Wrestling (WCW) contract stated he would receive royalties for pay-per-view videos he appeared in through video cassettes, discs, and CD-ROMs, as…
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WWE Seeks to ‘Knock-Out’ Final Remnants of Concussion Suit

As was recently affirmed, in the WWE’s concussion saga there only remain lawsuits by former professional wrestlers claiming the WWE committed fraud by failing to inform its athletes of the dangers of concussions and other brain trauma. Now, the WWE seeks to toss those remaining suits in a motion for summary judgement urging a Connecticut federal court to dismiss the allegations and end the legal battle. On August 1, 2016 the WWE moved for summary judgement on the final remaining claim — fraud —…
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Connecticut Federal Court Reaffirms ‘Smack Down’ of Concussion Suit Against the WWE

On July 21, 2016 Connecticut Federal Judge Vanessa L. Bryant handed down a partial win for the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. in the concussion lawsuit against them. Specifically, the judge denied the ex-wrestlers motion to reconsider the previously dismissed complaints that the WWE fraudulently handled the risk of concussions with their athletes. This case stemmed from a consolidated class action by many former wrestlers alleging fraud by omission when the WWE knew of the risk of concussions and failed to do anything about it. Particularly,…
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Roundhouse Kick: WWE Slammed with Lawsuit over Head Trauma Injuries

Dozens of former World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) wrestlers have locked the WWE and its chairman, Vince McMahon, in a legal chokehold, alleging that the WWE failed to protect the wrestlers from the risks of repetitive head injury. On Monday, July 18, 2016, over fifty (50) wrestlers joined in filing a class action lawsuit with the federal court in New Haven, Connecticut. The WWE is the latest professional sports organization to face head trauma litigation, joining the NFL and NHL The complaint alleges that the…
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Former WWE Wrestler Insists He Can Appeal Dismissal of His Concussion Claim

While concussion litigation against World Wresting Entertainment has been ongoing for years, at the end of March, a Connecticut federal judge dismissed many of the proposed class action claims asserted against the wrestling enterprise. A couple of years ago, several former wrestlers brought suit against WWE alleging that it knew of and concealed the risks associated with brain injuries. However, in deciding WWE’s motion to dismiss, the court pointed out that the wrestlers were “financially compensated to engage in an activity in which physical violence…
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The Brain of Former WWE Wrestler Chyna Donated for CTE Research

On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, former WWE superstar Chyna passed away at the age of 46. After her death, her manager, Anthony Anzaldo, made a statement that her brain has been sent for research to see whether she was suffering from a brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Although the cause of her death is unknown, Anzaldo said they are donating her brain because they “want to know what made Chyna tick.” Chyna’s real name was Joan Marie Laurer, she was known…
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Former Wrestler and WWE Spar Over Royalties

Pro wrestler Rene Goguen brought a class action law suit against World Wrestling Entertainment in Connecticut federal court on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. This suit arises just days after WrestleMania, WWE’s biggest event of the year. The complaint alleges that wrestlers should be paid royalties from streaming services, such as the World Wrestling Entertainment Network (WWEN) and Netflix. WWE’s outside counsel, Jerry McDevitt, is not concerned, stating the complaint lacks merit. According to McDevitt, Goguen and other wrestlers signed contracts which preclude the wrestlers from…
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