WWE Professional Wrestlers Sue for Concussions

"class action lawsuit", injury, "assumption of risk"By now, everyone should be familiar with the lawsuits filed by former NFL players against the NFL for concussions.  Former NFL players sued alleging that the NFL failed to warn them of the dangers associated with concussions.

Well, now the WWE professional wrestlers have accused the WWE of ignoring concussions which have led to serious brain issues.

In recent actions, former professional wrestlers accused the WWE of “selling violence” all the while ignoring concussions.  The wrestlers alleged that the concussions resulted in serious brain injuries.

A potential class-action lawsuit in Philadelphia mirrors, in many ways, the lawsuit filed by NFL players.   The wrestlers have argued that the WWE knew or should have known that the brutality of the sport would cause long-term, irreversible bodily and neurological damage.

The lawsuit alleges that one pro wrestler is disabled due to brain trauma suffered in his brief career between the years of 2012 to 2013.

Some of the alleged symptoms include loss of memory, migraine headaches, and depression.

The WWE countered by arguing that it had implemented a concussion management program as a precautionary measure.

For those who oppose these lawsuits, the argument will typically include “assumption of risk”.  In a recent blog post, the issue of “assumption of risk” was addressed where a law enforcement officer lost his $14 million dollar verdict because the court held that he “assumed the risk” when he was shot by an off duty officer when he stopped to render aid.

In that case, the court held that the officer assumed the risk of being shot.  Here in the NFL and pro wrestling where large framed men are literally crashing into each other at fast speeds or leaping off of corner ropes onto each other, all the while slamming and throwing bodies around, many scratch their heads, puzzled over the recent litigation.

But the litigants counter the assumption of risk argument by inserting that the Defendants had a duty to warn of the long lasting danger of substantial injury.

Thus, viewing the issues in the light of “failure to warn”, is it unreasonable to assert the argument that the Defendants knew or should have known about the latent effects beyond the immediate concussions?  After all, most true NFL fans are aware of the past history of the game in which injured players are alleged to have been simply given a shot and sent back on the field.  And with the amount of wealth that is generated in pro wrestling and NFL football, who is better equipped to perform the necessary research to determine the lasting effects of the violent collisions and concussions which occur routinely in these popular sports?

With that said, should we next expect retired boxers to enter the “class action” ring in bringing their own lawsuits?  And what about the MMA (mixed martial arts)?  One thing is clear, all professional sports leagues have been put on notice that they must warn and take the necessary precautions to protect their athletes from the potential dangers of lasting injuries inherent in their competitive sporting events.  VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC                  (404) 551-2428