WWE has emerged victorious again in concussion-related lawsuits filed by former wrestlers, as the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeals of a number of lower court rulings.
The plaintiffs alleged that the Stamford company was aware of the risks they faced of suffering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), along with a number of other physical and mental afflictions.
Those afflictions have led to brain damage, dementia and in some cases death, the suits alleged.
The Supreme Court’s action – it did not provide reasons for not hearing the appeals – brings to an end a six-year-long legal saga.
The most recent previous development last September found the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City upholding a Connecticut federal judge’s 2018 dismissal of concussion-related lawsuits filed by 50 former wrestlers against the WWE.
Those plaintiffs included Harry Masayoshi “Mr. Fuji” Fujiwara and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, who died in 2016 and 2017, respectively; they were diagnosed with CTE after their deaths, according to the lawsuits.
Also filing suit were Chris “King Kong Bundy” Pallies and Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, who died in 2019 and 2020, respectively, of undisclosed causes.
The WWE has consistently averred that the lawsuits had no merit. “We’re glad it’s finally over,” WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt told ESPN. “We were completely vindicated.”
“The wrestlers are dying of CTE despite the inaction of the justice system,” said Konstantine Kyros, who represented the plaintiffs. “Our team is proud to have brought their claims to our highest court and hopeful that this brings awareness to their ongoing struggles.”