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Two former professional wrestlers have filed a proposed class action brain injury lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment.
Vito Lograsso and Evan Singleton -- who wrestled under the names Skull Von Krush and Adam Mercer -- filed the lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia, Reuters reports. The 50-year-old LoGrasso, who also wrestled under the name Big Vito, was a WWE wrestler from 1991 to 1998 and again from 2005 to 2007. Singleton joined the WWE in 2012 at the age of 19.
What are the men claiming in their lawsuit?
In the lawsuit, the men allege that the WWE subjected the men, and other wrestlers, to "extreme physical brutality" that it either knew, or should have known, would lead to brain injuries.
Lograsso claims in the lawsuit that he suffers from neurological damage. memory loss, depression, and anxiety after he claims he was forced to wrestle through numerous concussions, which caused him to lose consciousness before and after matches. Singleton wrestled for just two years, but claims in the suit that he now suffers a number of physical and mental issues caused by brain injuries including tremors, convulsions, memory loss, and impaired reasoning.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of a similar lawsuit filed last year by former wrestler Billy Jack Haynes that is also seeking class action certification for wrestlers who may have suffered brain injuries and other long-term health problems from taking part in bloody, physically punishing wrestling matches. Both lawsuits are also similar to pending brain injury lawsuits against other sports leagues including the National Football League. A proposed settlement in the NFL case reached last year is expected to be worth more than $765 million.
In a statement released to wrestling website PWInsider, WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt writes: "This lawsuit is virtually identical to one filed by the same lawyers in Oregon, neither of which have any merit. WWE has never concealed any medical information related to concussions, or otherwise, from our Talent."
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