A group of wrestlers that includes Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Joe “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis have sued the WWE for lying about the effects of head injuries sustained in the ring and doing little to protect wrestlers during and after their careers.
Filed Monday in federal court, the suit accuses the WWE of prioritizing “corporate gain over its wrestlers’ health, safety and financial security, choosing to leave the plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies.”
The wrestlers involved in the suit were independent contractors when they worked for the WWE. That not only meant they had no health insurance, but that they were regarded as disposable.
The WWE’s own in-house doctors played a role in the destruction of the wrestlers’ minds and bodies, the suit claims. They would routinely “downplay injuries, encourage unsafe return to play procedures, and prescribe pain medication.”
The WWE also failed to warn wrestlers about what all those body slams were doing to their brains, the suit says. Despite full knowledge of the damage repeated head injuries can cause, including the brain disease CTE, the WWE “does nothing to warn education or provide treatment.”
The WWE seems sure that case will be dismissed. In a statement to Bloomberg, the company said, “A federal judge has already found that this lawyer made patently false allegations about WWE, and this is more of the same.”