Heath McCoy, author of Pain & Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling, has written a very good article about Martha Hart's lawsuit against WWE for The Vancouver Sun.
Of note, there are more comments from Jerry McDevitt, as well as Ross Hart's thoughts on the news:
Bret Hart was not available for comment on Tuesday, but another one of Owen’s siblings, Ross Hart, said he was surprised by the lawsuit.
"If (WWE) exploited (Owen’s) name negatively . . . I can understand, but this really was a documentary about the whole family," Ross said. "It was done in pretty good taste, even by WWE standards."
Ross said while he understands Martha’s bitterness toward the WWE and the wrestling business, that business is key to the late grappler’s legacy.
"Wrestling is really what made Owen famous and successful and such a legend and you can’t erase that," Ross said. "As tragic and wrongful as his death was, you can’t erase his legacy and what he accomplished in wrestling."
Jim Ross chimed in with these comments on his blog:
Read on line about the Martha Hart lawsuit vs WWE. I am not a lawyer, have never played one on TV, and know zilch about this untimely legal matter. Nonetheless my personal opinion is that the timing of this legal posturing is questionable specifically as it relates to Connecticut politics. Plus, I have never recalled WWE ever doing any thing but honoring Owen's legacy and certainly not 'exploiting' it in a negative light.
Owen Hart is one of the most requested guys who fans want to see inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. We get dozens of emails off and on all year or whenever the HOF topic is discussed. Does this legal mindset mean that if WWE ever decided to induct Owen into the Hall of Fame that he so richly deserves that there would be more litigation? Should the threat of a lawsuit deprive Owen Hart of an honor that many feel that he deserves?
Contrary to any litigation, present or future, Owen's legacy isn't going to be forgotten and nor should it.
Meanwhile, the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter covers the story pretty in-depth, including a passage about the nature of Owen's contract, which makes it clear that the likeness issue as an uphill battle. As far as the royalties go, Dave Meltzer is taking the same position as most: If the estate hasn't been paid and there was nothing in the wrongful death settlement about not having to pay future royalties, then that seems like an open and shut case.