Yesterday (Sept. 17), Judge Vanessa L. Bryant of the United States District Court of Connecticut issued a ruling on three concussion-related lawsuits brought against WWE on behalf of former wrestlers by attorney Konstantine Kyros. Bryant dismissed all remaining counts in suits brought on behalf of Vito “Big Vito” LoGrasso and Evan “Adam Mercer” Singleton, as well as the one featuring names like Joe “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, Paul Orndorff & Jimmy Snuka. Two of the cases were dismissed with prejudice, meaning the plaintiffs can not refile and Kyros can be held liable for WWE’s legal fees.
Regarding brain trauma and CTE, the focus of the all three suits, WWE’s victories included Bryant ruling that the former contractors complaint of medical issues caused by concussions Vince McMahon’s company knowingly exposed them to were time barred and that the motion to sue would have needed to come within five years of suffering the injuries in question. Almost all the wrestlers involved were several years into retirement by the time the complaint was filed.
Much of the judge’s decision seems to have been based on the work of the attorney for the plaintiffs. Over the course of the proceedings, Bryant has admonished Kyros for his complaints being too long and having irrelevant or non-factual arguments. She has repeatedly requested reworked or amended filings. Since those have come back with issues similar to the ones she initially noted, she decided to not ask him to rewrite them again, because it would result in the same unacceptable work.
In a statement submitted to PWInsider, Kyros fired back at the court and vowed to appeal:
“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’s lead counsel Jerry McDevitt issued a retort to Insider:
“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.”
While I’m no legal expert by any means, the nature of Bryant’s dismissals don’t sound like they leave Kyros a lot of ground to stand on. And I think you only need to read that statement and look at his track record to recognize McDevitt as not somebody you want to face in court.
Which is unfortunate for former wrestlers like LoGrasso, Singleton and Laurinaitis who are suffering from the toll wrestling took on their bodies, but they may need to explore other avenues to deal with those issues.
Starting with maybe hiring a new lawyer.