WWE Concussion, Brain Damage Lawsuit Won't Be Heard by Supreme Court

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2021

Vince McMahon, husband of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon, speaks to an audience during a WWE fan appreciation event in Hartford, Conn., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. Former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO McMahon is battling Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut  Attorney General, for the senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Chris Dodd.  (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday it will not hear a lawsuit filed by former WWE wrestlers who said the promotion knowingly hid its knowledge about the long-term ramifications of concussions.

The Supreme Court did not issue its reasoning behind refusing to hear the case. Lower courts had already dismissed the lawsuit, saying the plaintiffs could not reasonably prove WWE knew concussions could lead to long-term brain damage.

Judges in lower courts also ruled the lawsuits were filed beyond the statute of limitations.

Among the names who filed suits: William "Billy Jack" Haynes, Russ "Big Russ" McCullough, Ryan Sakoda, Matthew "Luther Reigns" Wiese, the wife of Nelson "Viscera" Frazier, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Joseph "Road Warrior Animal" Laurinaitis, Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff, Chris "King Kong Bundy" Pallies and Harry Masayoshi Fujiwara, who was known as manager Mr. Fuji, were among the notable names who filed lawsuits. 

Snuka and Fujiwara were diagnosed with CTE upon their death.

"The wrestlers are dying of CTE despite the inaction of the justice system," lawyer Konstantine Kyros said. "Our team is proud to have brought their claims to our highest court and hopeful that this brings awareness to their ongoing struggles."

Vince McMahon and WWE are seeking more than $500,000 in legal fees from Kyros, who they claim misrepresented information and violated court orders.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant ruled in WWE's favor in 2018 regarding the legal fees, but it's unclear if Kyros has paid the sum.