Dozens of WWE wrestlers sue company for brain damage at US Supreme Court

Namita Singh
·2 min read
<p>File Image: In this 2 November, 2015, file photo, former professional wrestler Jimmy

File Image: In this 2 November, 2015, file photo, former professional wrestler Jimmy

(AP)" />

A group of wrestlers who were an active part of the sport in the 1980s and ‘90s moved the US Supreme Court on Wednesday claiming that the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) failed to protect them from repeated head injuries.

The suit was filed in an appeal against the lower court ruling that had dismissed the lawsuits in September last year, saying that they were frivolous or filed after the statute of limitations had expired.

About 50 former professional wrestlers including Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, Paul “Mr Wonderful” Orndorff, Chris “King Kong Bundy” Pallies and Harry Masayoshi Fujiwara moved court alleging that WWE knew about the risks of head injuries but did not do enough to shield them, the Associated Press reported.

Other wrestlers include Chavo Guerrero Jr, Bryan Clark, Ahmed Johnson, Dave Hebner, Earl Hebner, Ken Patera, Shane Douglas and Marty Jannetty, according to Bleacher Report.

Of the plaintiffs, Fujiwara, Snuka, Pallies and Laurinaitis died in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. The lawyers of Fujiwara and Snuka claimed that the clients were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after their death, while Pallies and Laurinaitis died of undisclosed causes. Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit claimed to have dementia and other illnesses.

WWE, based in Connecticut, denied the allegations levelled against it.

Earlier in September, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City upheld the 2018 rulings by federal judge Vanessa Bryant in Connecticut that there was no proof that WWE knew that head blows during a match caused CTE to the wrestlers.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that unlike football and hockey, in which players have suffered similar injuries, WWE matches involve moves scripted and choreographed by the WWE, thus making the company directly responsible for the injuries caused to the wrestlers.

Additional reporting from the wires

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