About 50 former wrestlers including Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff, are suing World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. for brain injuries from which they say they suffer years after leaving the ring.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut, seeks compensatory and punitive damages and improved health monitoring, according to Reuters.
“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," the lawsuit says, according to Reuters.
Konstantine Kyros, a lawyer who represents some of the plaintiffs, said WWE kept its employees in the dark about their rights including those covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, according to Reuters.
Snuka, 72, Laurinaitis, 55, and Orndorff, 66, suffered concussions and other head trauma that resulted in long-term brain damage. Their health issues include headaches, dizziness and memory loss, according to the lawsuit. Other plaintiffs include male and female wrestlers as well as referees.
Snuka is charged in the 1983 death of his girlfriend near Allentown, Pennsylvania. He has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial, and his defense partly blames head trauma suffered in the ring.
This is not the first time that WWE has been sued because of head trauma caused by wrestling. It has won dismissals on some claims in the past.
“We’re confident this lawsuit will suffer the same fate,” WWE said in a statement.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.