Dozens of former professional wrestlers have filed a class-action lawsuit against the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc (WWE) for brain injuries they sustained during matches.
Attorneys filed the complaint on Monday, on behalf of famous wrestlers such as, ” Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Paul Orndorff, known as “Mr. Wonderful,” Joseph “Animal’ Laurinaitis, one part of the tag team duo the “Road Warriors.”
Other notables on the list of 50 plaintiffs include Ax and Smash of the tag team Demolition; Marty Jannetty, who together with Shawn Michaels formed the tag team The Rockers; The Berzerker; King Kong Bundy; Kamala, along with identical twin referees Dave and Earl Hebner.
The lawsuit accuses the WWE, and it’s owner Vince McMahon, of knowingly concealing the risks of head trauma that leads to degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and other devastating brain injuries derived from “scripted” choreographed moves performed during bouts over the course of their careers.
According to Fox News, the complaint details how Snuka 72, along with Orndorff, 66, and Laurinaitis, 55; suffer from cognitive ailments including memory loss, dizziness, and chronic headaches, while Orndorff and Snuka suffer from depression, mood swings, and experience confusion.
Just last month, a Pennsylvania judge declared Snuka incompetent to stand trial for the 1983 unsolved murder of his former girlfriend.
Laurinaitis’ son James Laurinaitis plays linebacker for the New Orleans Saints while his brother John continues to work for the WWE.
The plaintiffs also allege how the WWE purposely evaded liability by classifying wrestlers, not as employees rather as “independent contractors.”
“WWE placed corporate gain over its wrestlers’ health, safety, and financial security, choosing to leave the plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies,” the complaint said.
In a statement released from the WWE’s corporate offices in Stamford, Connecticut, representatives called the legal action another attempt to hold the company liable by a lawyer who had two earlier lawsuits dismissed, adding that “we’re confident this lawsuit will suffer the same fate.”