Represented by the same lawyer as Billy Jack Haynes, Vito Lograsso, the former Big Vito and Skull Von Krush, as well as Evan Singleton, who worked as Adam Mercer in FCW/NXT, have filed a class action "concussion lawsuit" against WWE in Pennsylvania. Like with the various UFC antitrust lawsuits, the Haynes and Lograsso/Singleton complaints appear to be virtually identical aside from short passages about the complainants. What's unique?
Singleton claims that "After approximately 15 matches, during which he sustained multiple traumas, he suffered a serious head injury during a match with Eric Rowen [sic]. The WWE cleared him to continue wrestling after inadequate rest time and downplayed his injury." NXT house show results online seem kind of incomplete, but if WrestlingData.com's profile for him is complete, he was gone for five months after an Erik Rowan match and thenw worked one more match before he was cut. He's suffered from a number of severe neurological symptoms and it turned out he had a bleed in the left hemisphere of his brain.
Lograsso "suffers from serious neurological damage, including severe headaches, memory loss, depression and anxiety, as well as deafness."
Post by The Ultimate Nullifier on Apr 23, 2015 21:25:18 GMT -6
The WWE contracts of Vito LoGrasso and Evan Singleton have been released as part of their current lawsuit against the company. Big Vito's main roster talent contract included a $75,000 downside guarantee and Singleton's developmental contract was for $31,000 per year but he was also given $2,000 in moving expenses when he moved from Pennsylvania to Florida. Vito's cuts of house shows and pay-per-view events were left up to WWE but licensing products based around him saw him receive 25% of the net sales and products such as DVDs where the talent was the featured performer saw them receive 5% of the total sales.
Post by The Ultimate Nullifier on May 22, 2015 3:10:47 GMT -6
Former WWE and WCW star Big Vito LoGrasso, who filed a class action lawsuit against WWE in January with former WWE developmental talent Adam Mercer, is asking for other wrestlers to join the suit against WWE. He wrote the following on Facebook:
ATTENTION TO ALL FORMER WWF, ECW, WCW, WWE WRESTLERS. I know all have there view points on this lawsuit. But, if you never stick up for your self, you never know what can be and what cant.If you were in DEEP SOUTH and OVW as a developmental talent, you also have rights. If you have problems and think you need help, Please join the lawsuit I am in litigation in. If you have medical records, you are positively ahead of the game. IF YOU WERE A ENHANCEMENT TALENT IN THE WWF, you also qualify. If you think you are irritating the WWE and think if you join, you will ruin your chances, the bussiness has changed guys, if they have not called you in 5 years, they are not calling you. This is a chance for benefits , the same as in the NFL lawsuit. No one knew, but a Billion dollars divided up for the guys who put there time in and have some issues, now have relief. I am standing up for myself, and all of you. I was never a follower always a leader. So follow me guys and join. I hope the internet guys post this to there sites, TMZ . The WWE will definitely see this and to know that I will be going on TV soon in a tell all, is just proof that you gotta believe in you and the sacrafices you made in life. As you know, you had to be tuff, never say your hurt, if you were , you lost your spot. There are some good people and some WWE HOFers involved and signed on as well. I hope this post makes it back to the right people. I will be heard and know one thing, I dont bulls--t and I speak the truth, when the truth comes out, it isnt a very nice place. Here is the name of the lawyer, his name is Bill Kyros , his number is 1 617 833 3727. Call him and tell him I sent you. Good luck guys and join the fight for rights you deserve. This is a brotherhood that we all seem to have forgotten about.
Post by The Ultimate Nullifier on Jul 3, 2015 9:05:02 GMT -6
Former WWE Superstar Vito LoGrasso released the following statement about his "concussion lawsuit" against WWE:
My thoughts for today. You know people, when you dont walk my shoes, how would you know what is right and what is wrong? Have you ever done something so demanding that you don't know how things will end up?
As for today's suprise, you have a lot of people comparing and giving there opinions of lawsuits. Some are very valid, some are total nonsense.
Today, a lawsuit came across from a man who is no longer here. It's been a long time since we heard the name. But, if it mattered when the person was alive, wouldn't he have done it himself? Or was that person still dreaming of one more chance to do what he loves at any cost?
Sometimes, thinking with your heart and not your head can get you into something that isn't right. This goes for life, relationships, and other beliefs you have. You stand your ground, your life, your thoughts. I am no one's judge, neither is anyone else. But when people who have just an outsider's view and scrutinize you and tag you in Facebook posts, mention your name, but dont have the manners to ask politely in private, what gives you the right to go into someone else's life and judge? Make rude comments, talk behind your back. Whats better, it is my own friends, accuaintences, colleagues. I havent heard from my family, but if they too have something to say, then go right ahead.
Funny, last year, I had some good friends, like brothers, tight. Those same friends jest, make comments, mock me, needless to say, I haven't heard from them in a long time. Best of all, it got back to me what you think and how you feel. Sad, hurtful.
But, if I see them, I got nothing to say. Just a hello, that's it. When standing up for something then people join in, you see the right and wrong in it. Like I said, you never walked my shoes, how do you know?
You think you do, but your giving an estimated guess. You never made a living at it or only did it on weekends and home home to your family. How about living on the road and living it everyday? I doubt alot would give up all they have to be that person. Not for a month, but for Years.
Today people, it's a time when the World has changed, not just in a Wrestling ring, but in everyday life. Today, if your gay, you can live it. How about a guy wearing a dress when it wasnt a time for it, and did it anyways? I could care less what you thought, I didn't wait for anyone to break the barrier, I did it myself. My life, my views. Now, being gay in pro sports is acceptable on paper. Gay marriage, congrats. But if you're the guy who steps forth and sets the tone, dosen't that count for something?
My lawsuit, it has merit, and I am standing for not me, but a good cause that has been a fight for years. People who know me, know, I love what I did, I want to, but, one little mistake, I would be the fool. Just for all those who think they know me, I am not broke and destitute. Like many of you understanding friends, and fans think. I am Vito J. Lo Grasso, a self made man. I will say and do as I want in my life. No one owns me, or better yet, tells me how to feel, think, or go about my business in my life.
If I was an ass kisser, I would have been World Champ. I was not that guy. I am good with just knowing guys respected the hell out of me and when they saw the lineup board, they knew, it was work time. No joking, no playing, in shape and ready.
If you went to the office after a tuff match with me, hey, you can have your manhood back now, if you learned something, I am happy. If you're the guy who bitches and complains he isn't on TV and a major star, I told you what to do, but you choose the easy way, thats why you're still in the same spot you been in for over 10 years and better.
Life people, it's a choice. My views and my life. Maybe there is a lesson here or maybe not. You see the changes in wrestling today, its a start, if guys have medical, a 401K, a retirement plan, better place to work....are we all aware that it's been one way for years, I think its time for a change, don't you?
WWE scored a partial victory in the brain injury lawsuit brought by Evan Singleton (f.k.a. Adam Mercer), Vito LoGrasso, and others, as the United States District Court of the District of Connecticut granted, in part, the professional wrestling promotion's Motion for Reconsideration. The move enables WWE to revive its countersuit against four other professional wrestlers who threatened to bring personal injury claims against the company last year. The suit is similar to the one filed earlier this month with 53 former WWE talents claiming that the WWE was responsible for neurological injuries they suffered from their time with the company.
Earlier this year, the Court rejected all but one of Singleton and LoGrasso's claims against WWE and ruled that it would only hear arguments regarding whether WWE failed to disclose to its performers the link between head trauma and permanent degenerative neurological conditions. Arguably, fraudulently omitting such pertinent information could have influenced the decision-making of the performers as to whether to enter and re-enter the squared circle, which, in turn, could be sufficient grounds to suspend Connecticut's statute of limitations.
In its Motion for Reconsideration, WWE stated that the threatened claims should be barred by the statute of limitations in the same way that the claims of the plaintiffs in the cases, as well as any of the so-called 'John Doe' who may bring claims.
The litigating professional wrestlers responded by arguing that their threatened causes of action did not give rise to federal jurisdiction over the countersuit. The Court disagreed with this position and dismissed only the claims against the 'John Doe' litigants.
WWE CONCUSSION LAWSUIT UPDATES: JUDGE ORDERS SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS By Mike Johnson on 2017-05-17 10:48:00 Judge Vanessa L. Bryant, who is presiding over the lawsuits brought against WWE in the United States District Court of Connecticut, ordered on 5/9 that the attorneys involved meet with their clients to discuss possible settlement offers that they would be happy with. Bryant also ordered that attorneys from each side inform the court within 21 days of dates in June, July and August where all sides will be available to "commit to a full and final settlement of these matters are available to devote an entire day to settlement discussions with Judge Thomas Smith."
Meanwhile, WWE filed paperwork on 5/12 following up on their request for a Summary Judgment that would end the case against them by former WWE star Vito LoGrasso and former developmental star Evan Singleton. The court had previously thrown out all claims against WWE in their lawsuit, with the exception of the allegation that WWE was fraudulent with passing on their knowledge of potential head injuries that could happen from performing as a professional wrestler for the company. The court has allowed that allegation to stand, feeling that it was within the realm of possibility.
In that filing, WWE reminded the court that despite LoGrasso's claims that WWE was responsible for his health issues, he stated during his deposition that he never informed Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, John Laurinaitis or WWE's doctor at the time Dr. Rios of any head injuries that he suffered while performing for the company.
LoGrasso has claimed his health issues began following a September 2006 concussion, while WWE has stated that they only learned of the dangers of CTE when LoGrasso and the rest of the world did, in September 2007. WWE also pointed out that LoGrasso, in the years since leaving WWE, never told the company about his "symptoms" and that he admitted during his deposition that he never reached out and told the company.
WWE's motion on 5/12 noted, "On this sole remaining issue identified by the Court, Plaintiffs failed to adduce any evidence, let alone the clear and convincing evidence required to resist summary judgment on a fraud claim. Recognizing this lack of evidence, the Opposition attempts to morph the fraud claim into one for patent symptoms of concussions, like post concussion syndrome, as opposed to latent permanent degenerative neurological conditions."
WWE stated that LoGrasso's remaining claim against them was both time-barred and meritless.
In the case of Evan Singleton, WWE's motion noted, "...his own binding admissions prove: (a) he received a baseline ImPACT test on December 1, 2011 during which he was told about the signs and symptoms of concussions;4 (b) prior to his injury he was told by a WWE physician that he would not be able to perform if he received a concussion and remained symptomatic; (c) he was injured performing a common move that he knew he would perform when he became a professional wrestler; (d) he knew he would get hurt if he performed the move wrong; (e) he, in fact, did perform it wrong on September 27, 2012; (f) the injury was an accident; (g) he never wrestled again after his injury;5 and (h) nobody has told him that he has CTE, and he does not have any fear of having CTE. Accordingly, his claim is about nothing more than an alleged patent injury arising from a risk he knew and assumed. It was caused by his own mistake, and he could not even make out a negligence claim, much less a claim for fraud."
WWE's motion also noted that Singleton admitted during his deposition that WWE held 14 presentations about health, including concussions, during his time under contract, but does not recall attending the one he was required to attend. WWE's motion stated, "These presentations negate fraudulent intent to keep performers in the dark."
The WWE motion also reiterates that Chris Nowinski, who the plaintiffs alleged was working for WWE during the time period he wrote Head Games, his book on the effects of concussions, was not working for the company at the time, was not at the company HQ at the time and that his only conversations with Vince McMahon were in regard to criticisms Nowinski made of the company publicly, which WWE states that Nowinski later apologized for. McMahon's deposition stated that he was unaware of what was in the book as he had not read it and did not participate in any conversations regarding the book of Nowinski's research.
FINAL COUNTS REMAINING AGAINST WWE IN ORIGINAL CONCUSSION LAWSUIT DISMISSED TODAY By Mike Johnson on 2018-03-28 21:38:00 World Wrestling Entertainment scored the final victory today in the United States District Court of Connecticut when Judge Vanessa L. Bryant officially dismissed the remaining two counts from the original lawsuit filed by former WWE performers regarding the company's alleged lack of protection when it came to performers' health, specifically concussions, CTE and other brain-trauma related injuries.
Although several the allegations against the company had been previously thrown out by the court, there was one allegation that had been ruled as being able to go forward. That charge, brought by Vito LoGrasso and former WWE developmental talent Evan Singleton, was a claim for fraud by omission. The claim was allowed specifically because they had alleged that in 2005, WWE "became aware of and failed to disclose to its wrestlers’ information concerning a link between repeated head trauma and permanent degenerative neurological conditions."
Since WWE had created the Wellness Policy and Lograsso and Singleton had wrestled during that period, the court ruled it was within reason that there was a possibility that WWE had a "greater knowledge" of the dangers via information cultivated via Wellness Policy data. So, the court allowed that aspect of the case to move forward so the matter can be determined.
In a 21-page ruling, Judge Bryant threw those final counts against WWE out, writing, "After careful consideration of the evidence in the light most favorable to the Plaintiffs, the Court has determined that the evidence does not support a finding that WWE knew of a risk that repeated head injuries incurred while performing as a professional wrestler could cause permanent degenerative neurological conditions prior to September 5, 2007."
LoGrasso had claimed his health issues began following a September 2006 concussion and that he had been suffering from migraines, memory loss, depression and deafness, all of which he claimed were a result of his time working for "nearly a decade" with the WWE. While Lograsso worked for WWE as an enhancement talent in the early 1990s, he was only a contracted talent with the company from July 2005 through June 2007. Over the course of the case, it came out that LoGrasso, in the years since leaving WWE, never told the company about his "symptoms." WWE also reminded the court that despite LoGrasso's claims that WWE was responsible for his health issues, he had stated during a deposition that he never informed Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, John Laurinaitis or WWE's doctor at the time, Dr. Rios of any head injuries that he suffered while performing for the company.
Judge Bryant ruled that LoGrasso's claim could not continue because "undisputed evidence in the record demonstrates that WWE did not know of a potential link between concussions and permanent degenerative neurological disorders until after LoGrasso stopped wrestling. LoGrasso therefore could not have relied upon any omission to choose to continue wrestling, and any injury he suffered while wrestling could not have resulted from WWE's failure to state what it did not know."
Today's ruling also noted that LoGrasso had contacted WWE in 2009, seeking a job as a trainer, but failed to disclose to them at the time that he had been suffering from issues related to traumatic brain inury. Bryant noted that LoGrasso had admitted, "that he had no communications with WWE about symptoms of traumatic brain injury after he last performed for WWE in 2007, and that WWE has provided no medical care to him since he left WWE" although they had sent him an annual letter offering assistance in paying for drug or alcohol addiction.
Therefore, Judge Bryant ruled, "LoGrasso’s claim cannot survive summary judgment because undisputed evidence in the record demonstrates that WWE did not know of a potential link between concussions and permanent degenerative neurological disorders until after LoGrasso stopped wrestling. LoGrasso therefore could not have relied upon any omission to choose to continue wrestling, and any injury he suffered while wrestling could not have resulted from WWE's failure to state what it did not know."
The ruling effectively ends LoGrasso's case against the WWE.
In the case of Singleton, who had not wrestled since 2012 after being injured taking a chokeslam during training, he had stated in the lawsuit that he was disabled due to brain trauma and that WWE had commited fraud by omission by not properly educating him about the dangers of brain trauma.
WWE had argued they could not be held liable because the company "had developed a concussion testing and education program in which Singleton participated or should have participated prior to his injury during which WWE disclosed to Singleton the risk of sustaining a brain injury while wrestling." It was noted by Judge Bryant that it had been determined that Singleton had been ordered by the company to attend a mandatory 45-minute seminar on drug abuse and concussion risks in August 2012. Singleton could not recall attending the seminar and pointed out that WWE did not maintain attendance of the seminar.
On Singleton, WWE claimed in a February 2017 motion that "...[Singleton's] own binding admissions prove: (a) he received a baseline ImPACT test on December 1, 2011 during which he was told about the signs and symptoms of concussions;4 (b) prior to his injury he was told by a WWE physician that he would not be able to perform if he received a concussion and remained symptomatic; (c) he was injured performing a common move that he knew he would perform when he became a professional wrestler; (d) he knew he would get hurt if he performed the move wrong; (e) he, in fact, did perform it wrong on September 27, 2012; (f) the injury was an accident; (g) he never wrestled again after his injury;5 and (h) nobody has told him that he has CTE, and he does not have any fear of having CTE. Accordingly, his claim is about nothing more than an alleged patent injury arising from a risk he knew and assumed. It was caused by his own mistake, and he could not even make out a negligence claim, much less a claim for fraud."
Judge Bryant, however, sided with WWE, deciding that, "Holding a training session in which it is explained that repeated concussions can cause CTE and that CTE can be fatal, is not consistent with a deliberate effort to withhold information for inducing Singleton to continue wrestling. Plaintiffs have offered no evidence that Singleton’s alleged failure to attend this session was the result of a deliberate effort on WWE’s part to prevent him from learning about concussions or CTE. Consequently, no reasonable jury could find anything other than that WWE attempted to inform Singleton about the risks of concussions. His failure to cooperate with that attempt—or WWE’s allegedly negligent failure to ensure that all talent in fact attended the presentation—do not transmute WWE’s effort to educate performers about concussion risks into fraudulent omission."
Bryant also ruled that Singleton had not offered any evidence suggesting that WWE intentionally omitted any information that would have induced Singleton to continue wrestling, so his claim was thrown out, ending Singleton's lawsuit against WWE.
Judge Bryant also threw shade at Konstantine Kyros and the other attorneys that brought the lawsuits before the court, writing, "Once again, the Court notes Plaintiffs' counsels have asserted facts and advanced legal theories for which there is no reasonable evidentiary and legal basis; and once again cautions that such conduct subjects counsel to Rule 11 sanctions. Counsel are advised to read the record in its entirety before filing anything with the Court to assure their reasonable belief in any and all future assertions of fact and law."
Previously, WWE has successfully had lawsuits brought against them by former WWF/E performers Billy Jack Haynes, Ryan Sakoda, Matt "Luther Reigns" Wiese, Russ McCullough as well as suits filed by the estate of the late Nelson Frazier Jr. (Big Daddy V, among other characters) and Michelle James, the mother of the late Matt "Doink the Clown" Osbourne's children dismissed.
Still ongoing before Judge Bryant is another lawsuit brought against WWE by dozens of other former WWF/WWE contracted performers (as well as talents who worked for the company in the past on a per match basis) in July 2016 regarding WWE's alleged handling of concussions and the classification of WWE performers as independent contractors instead of employees. That lawsuit was also brought before the court by Kyros and other associates. In a February 2017 motion, attorneys for the plaintiff claimed the lawsuit was not just about CTE, "but rather a much broader series of claims relating to WWE’s violation of numerous common law, contractual and statutory rights of the Plaintiffs resulting in financial as well as physical injury."