WWE is in yet another troubling situation as dozens of former pro wrestlers have taken their case against the company to the US Supreme Court.
SERIOUS EXAMINATION OF HEAD INJURIES IN WWE BEGAN IN 2007
Serious examination of head injury and concussion issues in WWE began in 2007, when then-beloved pro wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife and daughter before hanging himself in what has been called a double murder-suicide. Neuropathologists from the Sports Legacy Institute, an organization co-founded by Christopher Nowinski, himself a former professional wrestler, examined his brain.
The suicide and double murder were originally attributed to anabolic steroid abuse, but a brain biopsy confirmed pathognomonic CTE tissue changes: large aggregations of tau protein as manifested by neurofibrillary tangles and neuropil threads, which cause neurodegeneration.
In 2009, Bennet Omalu discovered CTE in recently retired wrestler Andrew “Test” Martin, who died at age 33 from an accidental drug overdose.
THE CASE WAS OPENED IN JULY 2016
Finally in In July 2016, 53 professional wrestlers, represented by lawyer Konstantin Kyros, filed a lawsuit against WWE, looking to hold the organization accountable for their “long-term neurological injuries” due to multiple concussions and CTE.
The lawsuit was dismissed on September 14, 2018 by US district judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant. The appeal was then kept pending for a long time.
There is an update to the case as of now. According to Minnesota Star Tribune, Konstantin Kyros has filed a request to the Supreme Court to hear the appeals of lower court rulings, which called many cases frivolous. Criticizing the lower rulings, Kyros said that the rulings “deprived of their fundamental rights as US Citizens, including their right to appeal.”
THE LIST OF PLAINTIFFS IS STAR-STUDDED
The list of plaintiffs is star-studded and enormous: the late Road Warrior Animal, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, the late Jimmy Snuka, the late King Kong Bundy, the late Mr. Fuji, the late Kamala, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Ahmed Johnson, Dave Hebner, Earl Hebner, Sabu, Barry Darsow, Shane Douglas, Marty Jannetty, Heidenreich and many other former pro wrestlers. The company’s CEO Vince McMahon has been named as the defendant in the case.