Newest Version of WWE Concussion Lawsuit:
Laurinaitis v. World Wresting Entertainment, Inc., Vincent McMahon el at
(November 3 2017 Second Amended complaint with 60 plaintiffs Five CTE Diagnoses: Jimmy Snuka, Rex King, Balls Mahoney, Axl Rotten and Mr. Fuji)
Earlier Version: Laurinaitis v. World Wresting Entertainment, Inc., Vincent McMahon el at
(November 2016 335 page Amended complaint with 60 plaintiffs which includes a CTE Diagnosis)
This is the latest version of the lawsuit. It involves a total of 60 men and woman very well known WWE wrestlers (a who’s who of performers in fact). Linda McMahon was the CEO for much of the time in which the issues alleged in the case occurred. The WWE per the lawsuit engaged in systematic misclassification of wrestlers as Independent Contractors resulting in the deprivation of their rights under federal law. The actual consequences are illustrated in the allegations of the sixty men and woman contained in the filing many of of whom are now disabled with occupational injuries. These injuries include the effects of repeated head trauma resulting in the increased risk of long term neurological diseases.
Below is a brief outline.
The first 27 pages are the “introduction” and summarize some of the pertinent facts and how those facts relate to the legal issues raised.
Pages 30-105 are the plaintiffs allegations- these are very detailed and read like individual stories about the experiences that give rise to the theories of liability.
Pages 105 to 195 are facts supporting claims- very detailed and long.The detailed counts start on page 195
Misclassification violations page 196- 215 (argument that applies IRS test to whether or not the wrestlers have been misclassified)
CIVIL RICO Pages 215-244 contain claims alleging racketeering activity that was the means by which the wrestlers rights were violated.
The WWE’s Unconscionable boilerplate Booking Contracts are described in Pages 244-257 that classified the wrestlers as Independent Contractors.
“The WWE wrestlers including the Named Plaintiffs are unable to seek any collective action under the NLF or a CBA nor seek to negotiate with the WWE over any of these benefits because of the misclassification identified herein. Additionally, the wrestlers’ workplace is not even governed by the minimal levels expected at any workplace with no OSHA oversight or any injury reporting. The WWE brazenly maintains that the Named Plaintiff wrestlers are independent of any regulation because they are falsely said to be fully independent as if they were house painters, cleaners, subcontractors, who are in an independent business who happen to set foot in a WWE ring. This lawsuit is their only means of getting redress for this structural situation that has deprived them of the rights enjoyed by all workers in the United States.” (p.253)
The lawsuit seeks to have the Courts use their equitable power to fashion a comprehensive remedy for the working conditions and injuries the wrestlers have endured.
This case was the result of an extensive investigation in the WWE’s practices that revealed an extensive and long standing exploitative business model of misclassifying its wrestlers as independent contractors. The WWE demanded that the wrestlers, as a condition of employment be “Independent Contractors.” The WWE ignored the requirements of Occupational Health and Safety Act to wrestlers and the significant protections it should have provided for them. The WWE opposed the right to organize, that employees in the United States enjoy as a fundamental human right and which other professional athletes in the United States take for granted. WWE’s failure to properly classify its wrestlers as employees prevented implementation of OSHA and FMLA protections which caused its wrestlers to sustain in-ring injuries and ignored safety rules that have resulted in the plaintiffs suffering from brain damage and CTE.
WWE continues to prevent its wrestlers from help get care by concealing necessary health and safety information, including the long-term risk of neurological injury. WWE instead funds groups that purport to study and help athletes with CTE yet the WWE and these groups including one headed by Chris Nowinski- a former WWE wrestler have completely failed to study or take any meaningful action to warn, educate or study the retired wrestling community which is in a full scale health crisis without precedent in modern professional sports.
This lawsuit seeks to provide these former WWE wrestlers- the named plaintiffs with the ability to receive treatment for their workplace injuries and to prevent WWE and the McMahon family from continuing to fraudulently conceal and deceive the United States, the public, and its wrestlers. The Plaintiffs seek only what they ought to have been freely given without a court proceeding. They seek only their rights under applicable law and any reasonable application of fairness and justice.