More than 50 wrestlers are suing World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for traumatic brain injuries that they claim were obtained while participating in scripted wrestling matches.
The list of 53 performers ranges from male and female wrestlers who are still active wrestlers outside WWE and others who performed as early as the 1970s, including Joe Laurinaitis “Road Warrior Animal,” Jimmy “Superfly" Snuka, and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.
The complaint said that “WWE placed 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,” Reuters reports. Since many of the wrestling moves and matches are choreographed by WWE, the complainants are arguing the organization is responsible. They also say they were not made aware of the potential risks associated with performing. WWE deny all allegations.
Along with seeking financial compensation for their alleged injuries, the lawsuit hopes to provoke the WWE into improving their medical monitoring and to raise public awareness of sports-related brain trauma.
Many of the wrestlers reportedly suffer from headaches, dizziness, depression, mood swings, and memory loss that they believe are symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease of the brain associated with a history of repetitive brain trauma.
Recently, a lot of attention has been given to the “epidemic” levels of CTE found in athletes who participate in physical sports, most notably boxing and football. A recent study found that as many 40 percent of retired NFL stars could be suffering from some form of traumatic brain injury.
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