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July 28, 2016

WWE Brain Injury Class Action Lawsuit Update

WWE scored a partial victory in the brain injury lawsuit brought by Evan Singleton (f.k.a. Adam Mercer), Vito LoGrasso, and others, as the United States District Court of the District of Connecticut granted, in part, the professional wrestling promotion's Motion for Reconsideration. The move enables WWE to revive its countersuit against four other professional wrestlers who threatened to bring personal injury claims against the company last year. The suit is similar to the one filed earlier this month with 53 former WWE talents claiming that the WWE was responsible for neurological injuries they suffered from their time with the company.

Earlier this year, the Court rejected all but one of Singleton and LoGrasso's claims against WWE and ruled that it would only hear arguments regarding whether WWE failed to disclose to its performers the link between head trauma and permanent degenerative neurological conditions. Arguably, fraudulently omitting such pertinent information could have influenced the decision-making of the performers as to whether to enter and re-enter the squared circle, which, in turn, could be sufficient grounds to suspend Connecticut's statute of limitations.

In its Motion for Reconsideration, WWE stated that the threatened claims should be barred by the statute of limitations in the same way that the claims of the plaintiffs in the cases, as well as any of the so-called 'John Doe' who may bring claims.

The litigating professional wrestlers responded by arguing that their threatened causes of action did not give rise to federal jurisdiction over the countersuit. The Court disagreed with this position and dismissed only the claims against the 'John Doe' litigants.

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