From PWInsider

A class action lawsuit against WWE was filed by a number of former professional wrestlers today, including lead plaintiff Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, in the Federal Court in New Haven, CT alleging that the company hid their knowledge of medical conditions, such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, from the wrestlers because the then WWF “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.” This follows similar lawsuits filed against the NFL and NHL.

A large number of former wrestlers, including King Kong Bundy, Jimmy Snuka, Paul Orndorff, Sabu, Ahmed Johnson (think about that irony) and more are suing WWE. I will have a list of the plaintiffs below.

The suit alleges that WWE (then WWF) “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 suit also alleges that 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.”

It should be noted that conditions such as CTE, or even the depth of the damage that standards concussions inflict, weren’t known when most, if not all, of these people wrestled.

Where the suit gets interesting is this claim:

Despite WWE’s ironclad control over the Plaintiffs, WWE refused and continues to refuse to classify its wrestlers as employees. WWE maintains the untenable position its wrestlers are independent contractors, requiring its wrestlers to sign unconscionable “Booking Contracts,” employment contracts of adhesion intended solely for the benefit of WWE and VKM. These contracts were drafted by WWE and its army of attorneys to restrict and abolish all of Plaintiffs’ rights and to fraudulently misrepresent and deceive both Plaintiffs and the federal government. The misclassification of wrestler-employees as “independent contractors” effectively eliminated WWE’s wrestlers’ knowledge of any employment rights they had under federal and state law, including OSHA, FMLA, and the NLR Act. The Booking Contracts are nothing more than an unconscionable scheme to save money in violation of public policy and the legal rights of

So this lawsuit is bringing the independent contractor status into play.

Here is the list of plaintiffs in the case of Joseph M. Laurinaitis v. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.

JOSEPH M. LAURINAITIS, a.k.a. | Road Warrior Animal

JIMMY “SUPERFLY” SNUKA, by and through |his guardian, Carole Snuka

PAUL ORDNDORFF, a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful

SALAVADOR GUERRERO IV, a.k.a. Chavo | Guerrero, Jr.

CHAVO GUERRERO, SR., a.k.a. Chavo Classic

BRYAN EMMETT CLARK, JR., a.k.a. Adam Bomb

ANTHONY NORRIS, a.k.a. Ahmed Johnson

JAMES HARRIS, a.k.a. Kamala

DAVE HEBNER

EARL HEBNER

CHRIS PALLIES, a.k.a. King Kong Bundy

KEN PATERA

TERRY MICHAEL BRUNK, a.k.a. Sabu

BARRY DARSOW, a.k.a. Smash

BILL EADIE a.k.a. Ax

JOHN NORD, a.k.a. The Bezerker

JONATHAN HUGGER a.k.a. Johnny The Bull

JAMES BRUNZELL, a.k.a. Jumpin’ Jim

SUSAN GREEN, a.k.a. Sue Green

ANGELO MOSCA, a.k.a. King Kong Mosca

JAMES MANLEY, a.k.a. Jim Powers

MICHAEL “MIKE” ENOS”

BRUCE “BUTCH” REED, a.k.a. The Natural

CARLENE B. MOORE-BEGNAUD, a.k.a. Jazz

SYLVAIN GRENIER

OMAR MIJARES a.k.a. Omar Atlas

DON LEO HEATON, a.k.a. Don Leo Jonathan

TROY MARTIN, a.k.a. Shane Douglas

MARC COPANI, a.k.a. Muhammad Hassan

MARK CANTERBURY, a.k.a. Henry Godwin

VICTORIA OTIS, a.k.a. Princess Victoria|

JUDY HARDEE a.k.a. Judy Martin,

MARK JINDRAK

BERNARD KNIGHTON as Personal Representative of the Brian Knighton, a.k.a. Axl Rotten, Estate,

MARTY JANNETTY

JON HEIDENREICH

TERRY SZOPINSKI, a.k.a. The Warlord

SIONE HAVEA VAILAHI, a.k.a. The Barbarian

LARRY OLIVER, a.k.a. The Crippler

BOBBI BILLIARD

TIMOTHY SMITH, a.k.a. Rex King

TRACY SMOTHERS, a.k.a. Freddie Joe Floyd

MICHAEL R HALAC, a.k.a. Mantaur

RICK JONES, a.k.a. Black Bart

KEN JOHNSON, a.k.a. Slick

GEORGE GRAY, a.k.a. One Man Gang

FERRIN JESSE BARR, a.k.a. JJ Funk

LOU MARCONI

ROD PRICE

DONALD DRIGGERS

RODNEY BEGNAUD, a.k.a. Rodney Mack

RONALD SCOTT HEARD, a.k.a. Outlaw Ron Bass

BORIS ZHUKOV

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About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.