Traumatic brain injury lawsuits filed by former WWE wrestlers may not be able to proceed as planned, as the WWE has recently filed a motion to have them dismissed.
Filed in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut last month, this motion alleges that the statute of limitations for a group of brain injury claims has expired and that these claims are “fraudulent.” The motion also seeks to consolidate other brain injury cases that have been filed against the WWE in courts throughout the U.S. into multidistrict litigation in a Connecticut federal court.
The ex-wrestlers whose cases are on the line include popular performers from the 1980s and 1990s, including (but not limited to) Blackjack Mulligan (Robert Windham), The Russian Bear (Oreal Perras) and Dynamite Kid (Thomas Billington).
WWE Blames Attorneys for Suits
WWE officials have been adamant about fighting the brain injury cases filed against the organization, stating publicly that they believe these cases were only filed because lawyers are “trolling” and “looking for people to sue.”
As a statement issued by the WWE noted, “it is unfortunate that some former performers have been improperly recruited under the guise of a big ‘pay day’, and we feel badly that these individuals are being misled and exploited.”
Ex-Wrestlers Will Fight Motion to Keep Brain Injury Cases in Play
In response to the WWE’s allegations that these cases constitute fraud and are time-barred, attorneys for the ex-wrestlers are planning to fight the motion, arguing that the statute of limitations does not apply for these cases. The reason is, they say, that the medical conditions – like traumatic brain injuries, dementia and ALS – can take years and years to develop and become apparent, well after the initial concussions or other events that contributed to them have occurred.
Windham has been among the ex-wrestlers turned plaintiffs to speak out about how he believes his time working for the WWE led to his development of serious health complications. Specifically, Windham has explained that:
Sargent Slaughter once went nuts on me and beat me unconscious with a turnbuckle…My jaw was broken. I lost teeth. I blacked out… [Officials at the WWE] really don’t want to face it… They want to send everyone to rehab. But rehab doesn’t work for loss of memory.
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