The answer to the question I posed yesterday "Should WWE be fearful of the NFL concussion lawsuit?" was emphatically answered by Mike Benoit today, the father of the late Chris Benoit whose son was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) by Dr. Bennet Omalu after a post-mortem examination of his brain. Yes, they should be very fearful of it, as Mike told Irv Muchnick that he's been following these developments in the NFL with keen interest and is considering organising similar action against WWE:
I am watching the NFL concussion lawsuit and I am considering organizing a class action lawsuit against the WWE.
I wouldn't expect anything to come out of this immediately, but if the science continues to suggest that CTE is likely to be quite a widespread problem in former wrestlers and the retired players are successful in their lawsuit against the NFL, then a similar class action concussion lawsuit against WWE would seem inevitable.
Michael Benoit was a pesky thorn in WWE's side, sorry I mean Linda McMahon's side, throughout her Connecticut senate campaign. He wrote an anti Linda McMahon editorial for the Hartford Courant last May, but that didn't stop the local Republican party from holding their noses and making the rasslin' millionairess who was willing to self fund her whole campaign their candidate to oppose Democrat Richard Blumenthal. At a key moment during the campaign when Linda was already on the back foot after a slip of the tongue to local businessmen suggested she would consider cutting the minimum wage, Blumenthal paid for Benoit's plane tickets to enable him to do a press conference in front of the Connecticut media about his belief that CTE caused his son to commit double murder suicide. A full transcript of Benoit's speech is still available for those interested. Like Irv Muchnick, Benoit has also butted heads with WWE lawyer Jerry McDevitt on many occasions. So it wouldn't be surprising if this story doesn't crop up again in Linda McMahon's expected next senate run, especially as WWE's Connecticut labour audit turned out to be such a damp squib and Blumenthal hasn't exactly been a leader on the concussion issue, happily taking lobbying dollars from the NFL.