World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is being sued by more than 50 former wrestlers. The reason they are suing is because they say that the WWE intentionally hired them as independent contractors, not as employees. They say this was a cop out to avoid liability for injuries sustained on the job.
The suit is a class action case alleging that wrestlers sustained “long term neurological injuries.” It also alleges the WWE “routinely failed to care” for them “in any medically competent and meaningful” way. They also alleged that the WWE “fraudulently misrepresented and concealed” those very injuries.
A class action settlement between the U.S. National Football League (NFL) and thousands of former players could result in total payments of $1 billion due to players suffering brain injuries.
The National Hockey League (NHL) also is being sued in a class action lawsuit by more than two dozen former NHL players regarding traumatic brain injuries.
In the NFL, concussion are not always reported. Some players go right back to playing without even being tested for concussion protocols.
Professional rugby players may also look to sue as well as other sports where helmets are required. About 1,200 people suffer head injuries while playing rugby each year.
Repeated head injury like those sustained in wrestling and football can cause a neurological disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE occurs when the tau protein jams up the brain’s circuitry. It is a progressive degenerative disease. Many people believe that CTE can only be diagnosed postmortem in an autopsy. However, the medical community should push themselves to try to make diagnosis in vivo.
One study characterized CTE while the patient is still alive using brain scans. They looked at American football players with suspected CTE and compared it to controls and those with Alzheimer’s disease. The brain scans in retired players showed the presence of brain patterns in line with images of concussion where the white matter tracts of the brainstem see early axonal damage and cumulative axonal injuries along subcortical, limbic, and cortical brain circuitries supporting mood, emotions, and behavior. The patterns were distinct from scans of patients with Alzheimer’s and is consistent with tau distribution found in autopsy of a brain with confirmed CTE.