The court held two marathon hearing as to whether the Plaintiff’s attorneys should be sanctioned in the WWE lawsuits. The arguments were wide-ranging and presentations were made calmly by both sides (for the most part). At the March 9, 2017 hearing Attorney Kyros prepared these introductory remarks- the text is not exactly what was said in court as he varied his delivery with further detail and other commentary. Attorney Kyros also presented a slide show on various aspects of the case. Attorneys Norris, Boumil and Leydon also appeared for the Plaintiff’s.
Draft of Kyros comments to the Court: Thank you your Honor for having this hearing and giving us the opportunity to address the court. In spite of Mr. McDevitt’s strategy of personally attacking the plaintiff’s attorneys in an attempt to discredit us and thereby discredit the plaintiff’s case before it can even be heard, we are here to answer Mr. McDevitt’s plethora of false allegations of attorney misconduct, without losing sight of the real issue- the claims of a group of WWE wrestlers brought against the WWE for their misconduct.
A group of 60 men and women that is dwindling as we argue over distraction issues that are preventing this group from getting adequate healthcare.
Indeed another named plaintiff, Ron Bass died just two days ago. Named Plaintiff Chavo Guerrero, Sr died Feb 11, Rex King on Jan 9 and Jimmy Snuka on Jan 15. That is four in the Laurinaitis case this year already. Another client of the firm died Feb 18- who was sued by the WWE when I send a letter of representation. The WWE will have a talking point about the causes of death- which misses the point that they suffered from occupational harm and disease- that either caused or contributed to their deaths.
This health crisis stems from a totally archaic workplace structure that has emerged unchanged from unregulated wrestling working conditions which had one goal to enrich the promoters. No longer a side show to a carnival or small regional promoter that stages matches on Saturday nights- the WWE and the McMahon dynasty have created an entity that harnessed the popularity of the worlds oldest sport in way that dwarfs the efforts of all the carnival/boxing/wrestling promoters of the past.
The tragedy is that for the billions made by the McMahons which could have easily provided for all the wrestlers, the McMahon family kept to the old model of exploitation- in a situation of unfair bargaining power that has no precedent in any athletic promotion- even boxing promoters like Don King- well know for their sharp practices (that prompted the passage of laws like the Muhammed Ali Act and others) these promoters at least had the innate ability of the boxers to contend with- the WWE is guided by no one, and no rules whatsoever since they control all wrestling at the highest levels-winners- losers- careers- lives and futures are at their discretion.
The familiar tools that pretend to have the color of legality are really unconscionable contracts of adhesion, phoney preemptive releases as well as post employment – sometimes decades later releases procured for pennies all designed to lock down the wrestlers and prevent any lawyer or anyone bold enough to challenge these practices with immediate threats Rule 11. The contracts/releases and associated conduct is prohibited under CT law, federal law and principles of equity that this court and our system of justice rests upon.
The argument on misclassification and the workplace structure is not academic – as it often is- here under its oppression, the wrestlers gradually succumb to their occupational injuries- broken necks, broken backs, fused discs, hip replacements, knees, shoulders for which they most often have inadequate medical care to treat especially as they age.
Hiding in all of this are the latent occupational diseases that rob them of their minds, and memories. In the CTE debate the wrestlers may finally have justice- the weigh of evidence is overwhelming that the wrestlers are at risk and will likely suffer from neurological injuries from their careers.
The case characterized as legally frivolous involves the third and fourth deceased wrestlers ever studied that have CTE- with diagnosis confirmed by Dr. Bennett Omalu the pioneer in modern CTE studies.
Mr. McDevitt frequently alleges this suit against the WWE is all about money. He is right, it is all about money, the millions of dollars of income generated by the wrestlers including the named plaintiffs for the WWE each year. The money saved by the WWE for failure to provide for the health and wellbeing of the wrestlers in their employ, the money saved by the failure to provide medical monitoring and neurological testing and treatment. The money they are refusing to compensate their former wrestlers for their suffering caused by the failures of the WWE to inform and protect.
Mr. McDevitt is in a frantic attempt to protect the WWE’s huge financial assets and to prevent reducing them by even the slightest percentage to compensate and protect wrestlers in health crisis today. And he is in a Frantic attempt to suppress the fact that the WWE knew about the dangers of head trauma for years and now faces a looming CTE epidemic that WWE does not wants to resolve.
McDevitt’s sole aim of this request for sanctions and dismissal is to prevent any exposure of the WWE’s practices and conduct towards the people who enabled them to dominate the wrestling world.