WWE CEO Vince McMahon and Family To Be Deposed In Concussion Lawsuit
WWE CEO Vince McMahon is no stranger to legal troubles, what with the infamous steroid trial of 1993 that nearly brought down the then-WWF. Now, twenty-three years later, McMahon is back in the legal spotlight, as the chairman is being deposed in the ongoing concussion lawsuit against WWE. And, despite the best efforts of WWE’s lawyers, McMahon’s family is being summoned as well.
McMahon’s deposition is scheduled for today, as the CEO is expected to offer testimony under oath concerning the accusations levied against WWE by former star Vito LoGrasso and former developmental prospect Evan Singleton. In particular, LoGrasso claims to suffer from migraines, memory loss and deafness as a result of WWE’s negligence and failure to diagnose concussions.
“Under the guise of providing entertainment, the WWE has, for decades, subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality that it knew, or should have known, caused … long-term irreversible bodily damage, including brain damage,” the lawsuit reads.
McMahon’s testimony will seek to offer WWE’s side of the story, and he won’t be alone in offering it. Paul “Triple H” Levesque is scheduled to be deposed next Tuesday, while Stephanie McMahon is also on the docket to be deposed, despite WWE arguing there was no reason to summon her, since McMahon and Triple H had already been made available.
“WWE made [Stephanie McMahon] available previously to testify before Congress on issues related to the safety of its wrestlers,” the judge’s ruling read. “Although the Court rejected Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentation claims on the basis of that testimony, WWE has not demonstrated that [McMahon] is not an appropriate deponent on the issues of whether WWE had a duty, and whether that duty was breached, to disclose knowledge of long term health risks caused by repeated head trauma. The parties are ordered to work cooperatively to schedule a deposition based on the witness’ availability, which may be conducted up to fourteen days after the current discovery deadline.”
Ultimately, it’s looking like this lawsuit might have real legs after all. In addition to the McMahon family, WWE doctor Chris Amann will also be deposed, as will former WWE star Chris Nowinski, whose career was ended due to concussions. Nowinski now heads the Concussion Legacy Foundation, one of the foremost authorities on concussion research in sports. Those are major names to call, and it suggests to me that the judge is taking these claims very seriously. If LoGrasso and Singleton win the lawsuit, there’s no telling what kind of effect it’ll have on the current landscape of WWE.
And yet, with all that having been said, actually proving negligence isn’t going to be an easy task. And unless LoGrasso and Singleton’s lawyers can do just that, the case will essentially go up in smoke for them, particularly since the argument could be made that neither really has much of a case to begin with: LoGrasso wrestled for years before getting to WWE, and continued to wrestle after, which suggests his problems could have been the result of bumps he took before or after WWE; Singleton, meanwhile, was hardly in WWE for half a year. Granted, the brevity of his stay doesn’t invalidate Singleton’s claims, but this isn’t exactly the case of a guy who’d wrestled for years and kept getting sent back out there by a negligent promotion. As momentous as a deposition on the McMahon family might seem, I still think this is going to be an uphill battle for LoGrasso and Singleton.
But what is your opinion on this lawsuit? Sound off in the comments!