World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is one of the most popular and profitable sporting ventures in the United States. On a weekly basis, millions of viewers tune in to watch their favorite wrestlers battle in the ring. The luckiest of fans get to see the matches in person, as the stars of the WWE travel across the country to give entertaining performances that are filled with body slams, kicks and jumps from the top rope. But the moves that are so beloved by fans may lead to long term brain injuries, as alleged by a lawsuit that was recently filed against the WWE.
Newsweek is reporting that three former wrestlers filed suit against the organization in California. Russ McCullough (a/k/a Big Russ McCullough), Ryan Sakoda and Matt Wiese (a/k/a Luther Reigns) are reportedly seeking damages, with claims that WWE officials purposely hid information regarding the potential dangers of traumatic brain injuries. The legal complaint states the organization “has for decades subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality that it knew, or should have known, caused…latent conditions and long term irreversible bodily damage, including brain damage.” The former wrestlers also reportedly allege that they were forced to fight, even when suffering from concussions and other injuries.
This is the latest in a string of lawsuits against professional sporting organizations by players concerned about traumatic brain injuries. The National Football League (NFL) is currently finalizing a settlement agreement with former and current players, while the National Collegiate Athletic Association deals with its own brain injury lawsuit. It is no secret that the aggressiveness of sports often leads to bodily injuries. When contact involves blows to the head of violent jolts to the body, the brain can become injured.
Wrestling and Brain Injuries
According to the advocacy group Stop Sports Injuries, head injuries are among the most common ailments within competitive wrestling. Headgear is reportedly the best method of defense against blows to the head. However, WWE participants do not wear headgear. The theatrics of the sport are just as important as the actual wrestling moves, so many wrestlers wear costumes to portray their characters. Very rarely do these outfits include any type of headgear.
Representatives of the WWE are reportedly dismissing the lawsuit as “fraudulent and “frivolous”, with claims that are “fabricated”. The plaintiffs are requesting a jury trial and they are also asking the court to enjoin the WWE from continuing with the alleged behavior.
Traumatic brain injuries encompass a variety of symptoms and complications. The mildest types take the form of concussion, with a relatively short recovery period. More serious brain injuries can result in a loss of consciousness, limited cognitive functions and severe emotional issues. Recovery may take many years or the patient may face permanent injury.
If you or a loved is suffering with a severe brain injury at the hands of another, contact the experienced attorneys of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation. These knowledgeable attorneys will aggressively work to secure the compensation to which you are entitled.
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