As reported on last night, PWInsider confirmed in a new report that won a major concussion-related lawsuit brought against the company by former talent.
The 39-page ruling was issued by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant of the United States District Court of Connecticut on Monday, dismissing all lawsuits against WWE.
Three major lawsuits were involved:
* The first lawsuit was the original one, with all claims from all plaintiffs being officially dismissed with the exception of one claim by Vito LoGrasso and Evan Singleto. The final claim was later dismissed and the court is now overseeing WWE and lead attorney Konstantine Kyros over reimbursement issues.
* The second lawsuit brought by WWE against Blackjack Mulligan, Dynamite Kid, Ivan Koloff and Koko B. Ware seeking to block attempts at suing the company is also dismissed, with the court ruling that any attempts at suing the company were officially now “time-barred” in the State of Connecticut.
* The third lawsuit, considered the most important, was brought forward by 53 plaintiffs, with the lead being Joe “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis. How attorney Konstantine Kyros handled this lawsuit was a major factor in having them all dismissed on Monday.
One official ruling part of the 39-pages specifically cited the WWE’s “substance dependency letters” that offers paid treatment for former talent battling addictions.
“Plaintiffs have not established that WWE had any continuing duty with respect to their health or their employment status after they left WWE. For example, Plaintiffs allege that WWE “sends substance dependency letters annually to its former performers offering free treatment, as well as community updates and quarterly royalty payments” and maintains a “Talent helpline.” It is reasonable to infer, based on WWE’s offer to provide substance abuse treatment, that the hotline is related to substance abuse prevention or treatment. It is not reasonable to conclude from the allegations in the complaint that WWE has a continuing duty to keep itself apprised of former wrestlers’ health or to provide comprehensive health care to these wrestlers. It is similarly unreasonable to infer that retired wrestlers would not seek medical treatment from sources outside of WWE after their retirement. Indeed, Plaintiffs do not allege that WWE purported to be their primary health care provider, or that WWE diagnosed, treated, monitored, or advised the Plaintiffs regarding their health,including their mental health, after they retired. Similarly, the Court is at a loss to imagine how continuing royalty payments give rise to any duty to the Plaintiffs regarding their alleged misclassification as independent contractors decades earlier.”
Attorney Konstantine Kyros issued this statement to PWInsider, noting he intends to head to appeals court in response to the ruling on Monday.
I stand for professional wrestlers who face the prospect of losing their identity and consciousness to the effects of a latent occupational disease that robs them of their sanity, comfort of their families and memories of everything they achieved entertaining the millions of people who love them.
The lawsuits include some of the world’s most famous athletes including those diagnosed with CTE by the world’s foremost expert in CTE, including Jimmy Snuka and Mr. Fuji, whose brains were studied because of our advocacy and dedication to getting help for former WWE performers.
The opinions expressed in today’s decision about my strong advocacy are inaccurate, bizarre and unworthy of the court. The reasoning of the opinion itself is flimsy as the court finds, in ignorance of the facts, that there is no reasonable basis for the assertions, despite a substantial body of medical peer reviewed literature going back almost a hundred years. In any event these are Jury issues as the plaintiffs demonstrated that the WWE knew about the risks of head injuries long before the 2007 date the court invents.
Additionally the WWE misclassified, exploited, injured these people in violation of labor laws and continues to ignore that CTE even exists in professional wrestling. It is a sad ruling, and we trust the wrestlers claims will be better received in the appeals courts. I will continue to fight and advocate for wrestlers legal rights despite this tragic opinion that attempts to cast down my clients hopes for better lives.”
WWE lead attorney Jerry McDevitt issued this reply:
This is the same kind of drivel Kyros pawned off on former wrestlers when soliciting them to sue WWE by false statements that he had obtained a billion dollar settlement for NFL players and would do the same for wrestlers, when in fact he had absolutely nothing to do with getting that settlement. He was caught repeatedly making false allegations; has been admonished repeatedly by federal judges about his dishonest behavior; and has now been subjected to two different sanction orders of the kind that would make most lawyers embarrassed and ashamed. The rant he sent you now insults the federal judge who issued the decision, and he still fails to address the basis of her opinion. He may well have been able to mislead those he solicited to join his lawsuits, but he will never succeed in misleading us or federal judges. Frankly, he should be disbarred.