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Appeals Court squashes former wrestlers’ CTE lawsuit against WWE

Two years ago, Judge Vanessa L. Bryant of the United States District Court of Connecticut dismissed a trio of concussion-related lawsuits brought against WWE on behalf of former wrestlers like Joe “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, Paul Orndorff, Jimmy Snuka, King Kong Bundy, Mr. Fuji, and Viscera. Two of them were dismissed with prejudice, which meant they could not be refilled and the lawyer who’d filed suit, Konstantine Kyros, was liable for WWE’s legal fees.

Kyros vowed to appeal, and now that has been dismissed as well by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The appeals court’s decision basically uphold’s Bryant’s 2018 ruling.

The wrestler’s case claimed WWE didn’t protect them from head injuries that could have resulted in CTE. The company responded with, among other arguments, that they plaintiffs wrestled around the world, which made proving under whose purview head trauma occurred next to impossible.

WWE issued a statement on the ruling to Wrestling Inc:

“For nearly six years, WWE was subjected to stale and frivolous claims brought by Konstantine Kyros, whose misconduct triggered countless judicial opinions along the way. Today, the Second Circuit put an end to his pattern of baseless litigation, leaving open only the question of how much he must now pay to WWE as a sanction for his misconduct. We are grateful for the attention paid to these cases by the numerous federal judges who oversaw the litigation, and to the Second Circuit for its decision.”

Speaking with the Associated Press, Kyros said of the decision:

“[It’s] utterly devoid of any original reasoning or engagement with the legal issues raised in the wrestlers’ appeal. In its conclusory assertions, the injured wrestlers find no justice having been literally denied a day in court. Per this mandate, wrestlers have no rights, no rights to bring a lawsuit, no rights to help from WWE for CTE & head injuries, no rights as misclassified employees, no rights to a jury, and ironically no right to even appeal!”

Unlike professional contact sports leagues like the NFL and NHL, which have settled similar lawsuits from former players, WWE has thus far avoided liability for head injuries and CTE. This decision continues that.

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