WWE Attorneys Ask Court for Sanctions, Grapple Over Proper Actions in CTE Lawsuit
On Friday, October 16th, 2015, World Wrestling Entertainment filed a motion in Connecticut federal court, seeking sanctions and other penalties against a set of attorneys representing former WWF performer Matt Osborne. Osborne created and popularized the character of Doink the Clown, a staple of early to mid-1990s professional wrestling, until he was fired by management in 1993 for drug-related issues. Following Osborne’s death by overdose in 2013, his family hired a team of attorneys to represent them on behalf of the former professional wrestler, who subsequently filed suit against WWE under claims relating to improperly treated or undiagnosed head injuries that Osborne knowingly suffered during his years performing for the wrestling troupe and thereafter.
In its reply motion and memorandum in support of sanctions filed last week, WWE claims that the attorneys for the other side failed to obey direct, court ordered instructions throughout the length of the suit thus far, and that many of the allegations made on behalf of the plaintiffs are simply “made up.” While the case was originally filed in Texas, in August it was transferred to Connecticut so as to be consolidated with similar CTE litigation suits represented by the same litigation team, headed by Konstantine Kyros, Erica Mirabella, and Christopher Gilreath – all of whom WWE is seeking sanctions against.
In support of its motion, WWE argues that the plaintiffs’ attorneys continue to violate proper jurisprudence in an attempt to abuse lawful judicial procedure, alleging that the plaintiffs are “forum shopping” so as to be able to bring tort claims that have long-since expired under Connecticut’s statute of limitations. By doing this, WWE alleges that plaintiffs’ attorneys are trying to gain a competitive and unfair edge, which is both improper and a waste of not only the court hearing the case’s time, but also the time of those other jurisdictions who must then deal with extraneous litigation. By seeking sanctions under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the attorneys for WWE are hoping that the federal Connecticut court can finally wrestle in the former performers’ counsel team to move the case forward.