WWE News WWE NEWS: Update on Billy Jack Haynes's concussion suit
Jan 22, 2015 - 2:25:38 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
WWE Concussion Lawsuit Updates
-- January 22: Regarding the 2014 lawsuit by Billy Jack Haynes against WWE, a legal news outlet reports that WWE has until January 30 to respond to the allegations. Haynes alleges that WWE "knowingly subject wrestlers to the dangers of potential concussions and traumatic brain injury, without taking any precautions to help protect professional wrestlers from harm."
WWE's legal rep, Jerry McDevitt, noted to the AP earlier this week that WWE plans to fight both Haynes's suit and the recent concussion suit by Vito LoGrasso & Evan Singleton in court. [ LINK: Report HERE at LawyersandSettlements.com ]
-- January 22: WWE executive/wrestler Triple H is scheduled to appear on Thursday's edition of GMA to address the other WWE topic generating mainstream attention this week - Hunter breaking character to console a crying John Cena Fan during Monday's Raw.
"Tune into to @GMA tomorrow morning to see an interview with me about an interaction I had with a young fan at #Raw. Now... #timetotrain," Hunter tweeted late Wednesday night.
-- January 21: ABC's "Good Morning America" ran a TV news report on former WWE wrestlers Big Vito and Evan Singleton suing WWE over concussion management. Wednesday's edition of GMA included details on the suit, including the allegation that WWE historically mistreated wrestlers by “negligently or purposefully failed to diagnose concussions.” [ LINK: News Report HERE ]
-- January 21: On the day that CNN.com readership pops to read about U.S. president Barack Obama's "State of the Union Address," readers will be met by a large headline reading "WWE Wrestlers sue over injuries."
On the re-designed CNN website, a right column of "latest headlines" includes a link to CNN's version of the AP Report on former wrestlers Big Vito and Evan Singleton suing WWE over concussion management. [ LINK: CNN Coverage HERE. Thanks to Henry Petty. ]
-- January 20: WWE is planning to contest recent concussion-related lawsuits in court, according to WWE's long-time legal representative Jerry McDevitt. The suits were filed by former WWF wrestler Billy Jack Haynes in 2014 and former WWF wrestlers Big Vito and Evan Singleton earlier this month in Philadelphia federal court. McDevitt also issued a statement on behalf of WWE.
"WWE has never concealed any medical information related to concussions, or otherwise, from our talent," said long-time attorney representing WWE Jerry McDevitt. "WWE was well ahead of sports organizations in implementing concussion management procedures and policies as a precautionary measure as the science and research on this issue emerged." McDevitt did not specify whether that relates to the heavily-scrutinized "Impact" test implemented by WWE medical director Dr. Joseph Maroon. [ LINK: Statement reported at Philly.com HERE ]
-- January 20: The Associated Press picked up the story of former pro wrestlers suing WWE as it relates to concussion management that they claim led to "serious brain injuries."
Following the lead of former NFL players suing the NFL for negligence as it relates to concussions, former WWE star Big Vito (Vito LoGrasso) and former NXT Developmental wrestler Evan Singleton (Adam Mercer in NXT) filed suit against WWE in Philadelphia federal court.
The suit alleges that WWE has "for decades subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality that it knew, or should have known, caused created latent conditions and long-term irreversible bodily damage, including brain damage."
Singleton says he is disabled due to brain trauma suffered while in WWE. He also claims that WWE "discouraged" him from seeing a neurologist after complaining of head/neck injuries.
Vito, who also wrestled in ECW, WCW, and TNA, says he suffers from from "migraines, memory loss, depression, and deafness" after his time in WWE.
The suit is along the lines of the legal action filed by Billy Jack Haynes in 2014. Haynes alleged that WWE should have known more and/or should have done more about concussions in the 1980s, leading to long-term health problems for himself and other former wrestlers.
National publication ABC News published the AP Report, as well as the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia. According to the AP, WWE will comment later.
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