Former Pro Wrestlers Sue WWE for Ignoring Traumatic Brain Injury
Two former professional wrestlers who were part of the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc entertainment company have a potential class action lawsuit against the private entertainment group, alleging that the industry promotes violence and ignores concussions during matches, which can lead to traumatic brain injury.
The lawsuit may become a class action if a judge opens it up to other current and former WWE wrestlers who have also suffered concussions or traumatic brain injuries.
“For most of its history, WWE has engaged in a campaign of misinformation and deception to prevent its wrestlers from understanding the true nature and consequences of the injuries they have sustained…Under the guise of providing entertainment, the WWE has, for decades, subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality that it knew, or should have known, caused created latent conditions and long-term irreversible bodily damage, including brain damage,” the lawsuit said.
One of the plaintiffs, Evan Singleton, performed under the name Adam Mercer between 2012 and 2013. Singleton is now disabled due to a traumatic brain injury suffered during the course of his professional entertainment wrestling career, which began when he was 19. Singleton is currently 22 years old, and will have ongoing medical problems due to the traumatic brain injury.
The other plaintiff, 50-year-old Vito LoGrasso, who performed under the name Skull Von Krush, suffers migraines, memory loss, depression, and deafness after a decade-long entertainment career with the WWE.
“The individuals in charge of the WWE know even before going into the match that these individuals are going to suffer blows to the head,” the plaintiffs’ attorney said, “and encourage many of these wrestlers to what they call, ‘turn up the heat’ and make these matches as violent as possible.”
The plaintiffs cite dramatic tricks performed by WWE wrestlers, including head butts, flips, body slams, and chair shots – a trick in which the performer is struck across the head and shoulders with a chair, breaking it.
“When performed by, and on, hulking, poorly trained … wrestlers with various levels of dexterousness, they (the tricks) are a recipe for disaster — and widespread, long-term brain damage,” the lawsuit complaint continues.
“WWE has never concealed any medical information related to concussions, or otherwise, from our (performers). WWE was well ahead of sports organizations in implementing concussion management procedures and policies as a precautionary measure as the science and research on this issue emerged,” an attorney for the WWE said.
The plaintiffs, however, note in their filing that at least two former wrestlers with the WWE were found in autopsies to have suffered traumatic brain injury. The finding is similar to a recent study of hundreds of former professional football players, many of whom were NFL stars, who were found to have suffered brain changes caused by traumatic brain injury. The NFL recently settled a class action lawsuit with several former and current professional football players.
The Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a concussion after an automobile accident or injury from a defective product, it is not too late to get help. The South Carolina personal injury attorneys at the Strom Law Firm offer free consultations to discuss the incident that led to traumatic brain injury and determine if you have a personal injury case. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.