WWE Funded CTE Study Proves Wrestlers Lawsuit: WWE, Nowinski and BU Doctors Remain Silent

A pioneering CTE study published January 18, 2018 demonstrates that CTE is caused by repeated hits to the head not simply concussions. The lead doctor of the Boston University team that conducted the study described the paper as “the best evidence to date … that CTE is caused not just by concussions, but rather by any blow to the head, including mild impacts.”

As such the argument strongly supports a central claim made in the pending concussion lawsuits against the WWE. According to the wrestlers lawsuit: “The wrestling moves that involve the occupational head trauma that causes CTE and associated diseases from the accumulated effects of TBIs are the result of wrestling moves… that were performed “correctly” by the Plaintiffs. In other words, the head trauma that has resulted in injury is the accumulated effect of many impacts to the plaintiffs’ heads that occurred on a regular, routine basis during their WWE career.” The WWE has strenuously denied this claim.

Incredibly, the WWE actually helped fund this very study in 2018 that supports the injured wrestlers claims, and yet maintains in Court documents and media statements it is ignorant of any risk of CTE among professional wrestlers and openly derides the claims of the wrestlers, five of whom have died and been diagnosed with CTE including well-known wrestlers Jimmy Snuka and Mr. Fuji.

The WWE maintains in the Singleton/LoGrasso case: Quote: “The State of CTE Science is Not a Known Fact,” and WWE Doctors claim in court papers WWE is ignorant of CTE.

The WWE Lead Lawyer explained to the worldwide media: ”Before this guy [Konstantine Kyros] started trolling around looking for people to sue, we didn’t have one person, none, claiming they had any kind of traumatic brain injuries, or dementia or ALS or any of the kind of stuff you seek associated with the NFL.”

Since then the lawsuit has been amended (November 2017), there are five wrestlers diagnosed with CTE in the case itself (and two others Chris Benoit and Andrew “Test” Martin diagnosed by Dr Omalu) as well plaintiffs (including Paul Orndorff) with diseases including dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

The conflict between these positions is even more striking because the BU affiliated Concussion Legacy Foundation gave a seat to one of the “CTE in wrestling deniers”:  wrestler Paul Levesque AKA Triple H, an executive VP at WWE (husband of Stephanie McMahon). Mr. Levesque has publicly donwplayed the risks in WWE wrestling, telling USA today :” pro wrestling is fundamentally different from football when it comes to hard impacts… If you’re in the NFL, your goal is to try to hit the other guy as hard as possible. … The goal in what we do is the exact opposite,” said Levesque.

This is a real-time repeat of the NFL League of Denial story. However the striking contrast is that the WWE has seemingly bought the silence of  Mr. Nowinski who heads the Concussion Legacy Foundation (see the unbelievable Boston Globe expose of his role), and BU researchers through its large cash donations and Triple H’s board seat on the CLF. The WWE appears to maintain its denial of CTE science in order to avoid paying money to help its injured wrestlers.

The scientific article published in a medical journal called “Brain” received heavy media coverage. The worldwide headlines announced:

CNN: “It’s not concussions that cause CTE. It’s repeated hits, a study finds”

Los Angles Times: “Forget concussions. The real risk of CTE comes from repeated hits to the head, study shows.”

CBS Sports: “Study: CTE caused by repeated hits to head, even those that don’t cause concussions.”

Daily Mail UK:

‘Concussion is a red herring’ for CTE: Major study shows repeated hits (even mild ones) are the REAL problem

• Boston University has found the biggest problem for CTE is the way the head is hit, not the concussion

• Concussion is to CTE what a cough is to lung cancer: it does not predict it and treating it does not prevent it

• The paper is the clearest evidence to date of a causal link between football tackles and CTE – and suggests there is no way to prevent it

These headlines should also point out that the WWE, unlike the NFL is continuing to deny the science and continues to deny any help, money or research to address the CTE health crisis it is directly responsible for among professional wrestlers. The WWE evades these duties despite funding the study that proves its athletes are in health crisis and there can be no doubt of WWE’s actual knowledge of nature of CTE. The WWE’s legal and moral position in the face of evidence it now has at its disposal puts the organization into its own category of corporate misconduct.

SEE Full Article Here: Brain journal article 1.18.18

Wrestlers Seek to have Basic Facts Admitted by WWE

On January 17, 2018 the plaintiffs filed a motion to deem fifty statements of fact admitted by the WWE. The WWE’s lawyers had responded evasively by objecting to the requests which are required to be admitted or denied under the Federal Rules. The purpose of these rules to is to get facts on the record in the lawsuit something which the WWE does not want to do.

You can read the Plaintiffs Motion here >>

You can read the Requests for Admission here  >>

Lawsuit Reveals CTE Diagnosed in More WWE Wrestlers

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (“CTE”) Exists in Professional Wrestlers and is Diagnosed in at Least Five Named Plaintiffs.
Significantly, five of the named plaintiffs have had post-mortem neuropathology studies reflecting a diagnosis of an occupational disease related to brain trauma. These diagnoses show the existence of such diseases in professional wrestlers notwithstanding WWE’s continued public denials and defenses to the plaintiffs’ claims made herein.

  1. Plaintiff Estate of James W Snuka, has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (“CTE”)
  2. Plaintiff Estate of Harry Masayoshi Fujiwara, has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Chronic Traumatic Myelo-Encephalopathy (“CTME”)
  3. Plaintiff Estate of Jon Rechner, has a diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (“CTE”);
  4. Plaintiff Estate of Brian D. Knighton, has a diagnosis of early stage Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (“CTE”);
  5. Plaintiff Estate of Timothy Alan Smith, has a diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (“CTE”);

Wrestlers File Amended Lawsuit Against WWE: Jimmy Snuka, Mr. Fuji, Rex King, Balls Mahoney Diagnosed with CTE

The wrestlers filed a second amended complaint in US District Court in Connecticut. Click Here to Read the Lawsuit >>>
This case involves retired professional wrestlers and performers who sustained long term neurological and other injuries during their tenure with WWE. As is detailed hereinafter, the Plaintiffs were intentionally and systematically deprived by the WWE of valuable rights guaranteed under State and Federal law, all under the direction and control of its Chairman of the Board and controlling shareholder, Vincent K. McMahon.

 

 

Judge Bryant Resets WWE Case- Wants to Hear Personally from Every Wrestler

On September 29, 2017, Judge Vanessa Bryant ordered the plaintiff wrestlers to refile the WWE lawsuit. In doing so, she rendered moot and denied all the earlier attempts by WWE to dismiss the case (subject to the plaintiffs’ next filing). The result is that the wrestler-plaintiffs have another opportunity to make their case and refine their arguments about the WWE’s responsibilities before the court. Significantly, Judge Bryant also asked for private statements to be submitted directly to the court from every plaintiff involved in the lawsuit.

WWE Wrestlers Have Less Rights Than Cirque du Soleil Performers

A Wall Street Journal Article 4/15, The Perils of Workers’ Comp for Injured Cirque du Soleil Performers  noted that Cirque du Soleil performers struggle because they get only workers’ comp! The Journal clearly hasn’t read the WWE lawsuits.

The WWE wrestlers not only don’t get workers’ compensation, they get no insurance or long-term care at all from WWE. If they get CTE or a neuro-cognitive disorder they get: absolutely nothing. The article also ruefully observed that unlike professional athletes, injured Cirque stars don’t even get to keep their salaries.

The article invites other interesting and startling contrasts to WWE which does not record or report its injury rates to OSHA or anyone else. Does anyone think that WWE wrestlers have lower rates of injury than Cirque du Soleil performers?

WSJ:
But Cirque stands out for the number of injuries to its performers, many of which become workers’ compensation claims. A Wall Street Journal analysis showed that in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, Cirque’s Kà show in Las Vegas had a higher rate of injury than all but 78 workplaces on a list of nearly 52,000 of the most dangerous compiled by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Most top professional sports teams, including Major League Baseball, which are among the only workplaces (wait what about WWE?) to come close to Cirque in likelihood of injuries, give workers their full salary until their multiyear contracts expire. In the National Football League, injured players receive only a portion of their salary for a few years if they can’t play, but they generally receive large upfront bonus payments to make up for the risk, according to sports agents and lawyers.

Ms. Muller criticized Cirque for not providing more generous financial settlements. “These are not flukes, these are accidents,” she said. “You can’t send people home broken and broke.”

Does anyone know any broken and broke former WWE wrestlers?