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World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has filed a complaint to dismiss a group of lawsuits by former professional wrestlers alleging traumatic brain injuries.
In the complaint, filed Monday by Stamford, Connecticut-based WWE in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the media and entertainment company said it’s seeking a declaration that the alleged traumatic brain injuries and/or other tort claims are time-barred.
The named defendants, which include Robert Windham (Blackjack Mulligan), Thomas Billington (Dynamite Kid), James Ware (Koko B. Ware) and Oreal Perras (The Russian Bear), last performed for the WWE in the 1980s or 1990s, according to the complaint. And they didn’t alert the WWE to any “injuries supposedly caused by WWE in the decades since they last performed,” it said.
According to the complaint, two of the named defendants “out of the blue” on June 2 sent WWE “identical letters claiming for the first time that they ‘were allegedly injured as a result of WWE’s negligent and fraudulent conduct.’”
Unnamed defendants, referred to as John Does in the case, are former performers who have not performed for the WWE in three years, the complaint states.
“An actual dispute or controversy exists as to whether any alleged (traumatic brain injury)-related claims or any alleged tort claims based on WWE’s supposedly negligent and fraudulent conduct by defendants are time-barred by the applicable statutes of limitations/statutes of repose under Connecticut law,” according to the complaint.
Lawyers representing the NCAA and a group of former football players who are suing the association for head injuries in U.S. District Court in Chicago have presented a new settlement offer to a federal judge.