WWE has dealt with many lawsuits in the past, whether they received them or dished them out themselves. Recently, WWE has been getting lawsuits from past talent claiming that WWE was a place that “sold violence” as well as the fact that they suffered injuries while working there where WWE didn’t care enough about them. Many of these men making claims wrestled outside of WWE and suffered injuries that wouldn’t be WWE’s fault. Others only spent a year in WWE before being cut and have decided a decade later to make claims against them.
The recent lawsuit from Ryan Sakoda, Luther Reigns and Russ McCullough represent this well. All three barely worked with WWE and made major claims against the company.
However, there are many who were also approached by lawyers trying to stick it to WWE. It seems that the men who took them up on the claims were ones who needed the money. Which greatly stands out.
TMZ reported claims by WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt who works for K&L Gates, an outside WWE company. McDevitt claims former wrestlers are “being targeted by attorneys who tell them there’s hundreds of thousands of dollars they can make by joining a class action suit like this. We know these claims are fraudulent, and will fight them.”
McDevitt went on to say that many other wrestlers were approached and believe it is a scam. McDevitt said that the lawsuit spends more time talking about Chris Benoit and other wrestlers than it does the actual plaintiffs.
“It’s sensational, but if you really look at … what was done specifically to them? There are almost no details as to what they actually suffered as a result of working with WWE.”
McDevitt then claimed that no talent complained about suffering brain damage or dementia before lawyers started contacting them. He feels that WWE will ultimately prevail in the case.
While many believe that wrestlers have suffered brain troubles in the past, WWE does not feel they are ultimately responsible for a person getting hurt. This is understandable, as injuries happen often. WWE does take a lot of time to make sure brain troubles do not happen in today’s company. Before, brain issues were misunderstood. This was not just WWE’s fault, but it was the fact that medical knowledge on the subject was not yet known. So any mistake WWE made by letting someone work with a concussion is not something they should ultimately be sued for.
Being ignorant about a situation before knowledge on it really exists is understandable. Sure, a decade later after knowledge is known…we can cast stones. However, today WWE tries to keep talent out of the ring if brain troubles are present. Yet we have heard some such as CM Punk claim that WWE’s medical testing for concussions is a joke, which ultimately led to his infamous walkout.
WWE, for the most part, tries to keep talent safe from brain problems. That is why they have extensive medical testing on someone before they are even hired. Nigel McGuiness was not hired by WWE due to problems in his head, and he was supposed to come in with Bryan Danielson(now Daniel Bryan). He ended up having to retire down the line due to a blood disorder.
In the end, while WWE does protect many today, they cannot change what happened in the past. So wrestlers who need cash are now suing WWE, even if they barely worked for the company. All of this to cash in on WWE’s ignorance of the time, which was just as bad with the NFL, NHL, and more. All have now changed their policies on head injuries.
[IMG Credit: wikipedia.com, popscreen.com]