WWE can finally breathe a sigh of relief after the hearing of the wrongful death cases filed against them, the cases were dismissed by U.S District Judge Vanessa Bryant.
The lawsuits were filed by Michelle James and Cassandra Frazier, the better halves of former WWE Superstars Matt Osborne and Nelson Frazier Jr. who were known for their time in the WWE as Doink the Clown and Viscera respectively.
Apart from Doink the Clown, Osborne was also known as “Maniac” Matt Borne. He passed away due to an accidental opiate overdose on June 28, 2013, at the age of 55.
Frazier Jr. was known for portraying Viscera and Big Daddy V during his run and was one of the heaviest wrestlers to ever step foot in a WWE ring weighing at 485 pounds. Frazier Jr. passed away at the age of 43 due to a heart attack on February 18, 2014.
According to F4wonline.com, The lawsuits claimed that both these wrestlers suffered serious brain damage while working for the WWE which lead to their eventual deaths. But unfortunately this could not be stated for sure since, neither wrestler’s brain was examined after death to confirm CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).
The judge ruled out James’ lawsuit citing lack of evidence to support the fact that the death was related to CTE. She also stated that a re-filing of the case was considered by the court from other members of the family but declined to allow it, stating the case is futile given the lack of evidence provided by the lawyers.
In the case of Frazier Jr., the case was dismissed due to the fact that the plaintiffs failed to bring up a possible connection between the death and the alleged wrongful deeds done by the WWE.
Apart from that, the complaint didn’t establish a link between CTE and the Heart Attack. The allegation of Frazier surviving the Heart Attack if he didn’t have CTE was ruled by the judge as "another bald and baseless allegation, which the court deems unworthy of the barest measure of credibility.”
Bryant stated lawyer Konstantine Kyros’ “false and misleading statements” as “highly unethical”, she also ruled out WWE’s plea to take action against him regarding these cases.
Her final official statement was:
"The court admonishes Kyros and his co-counsel to adhere to the standards of professional conduct and to applicable rule and court orders lest they risk future sanctions or referral to the Disciplinary Committee of this court."
Several former WWE superstars have sued WWE over CTE and traumatic brain injuries with names such as Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis and Paul Orndoff in the long list of the plaintiffs part of the cases.
Head injuries and concussions have been always considered as serious consequences of pro wrestling with several superstars reported to be suffering from them.
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