WWE Granted Extra Time to Respond to Claims of Fan Injuries at SmackDown Event

Legal drama unfolds with WWE at the center.

by Noman Rasool
WWE Granted Extra Time to Respond to Claims of Fan Injuries at SmackDown Event
© WWE/YouTube

WWE has strategically shifted a significant civil lawsuit from the state-level Superior Court of Connecticut in Stamford to the federal U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. This change in jurisdiction is primarily due to the diverse state residences of WWE and the plaintiff, Richard Bryant of Florida.

Additionally, the wrestling giant has successfully obtained an extension to respond to the lawsuit's charges. The case was initiated by Bryant in March following an incident at a Friday Night SmackDown taping in Orlando in July 2022.

He alleges that the use of pyrotechnics at the event led to a severe injury, specifically significant hearing loss in his right ear. The lawsuit accuses WWE of negligence for failing to adequately warn attendees, test, and supervise the pyrotechnics display, which Bryant claims resulted in a ruptured eardrum and ongoing tinnitus.

Complex Legal Claims

Adding a layer of complexity to the proceedings, Bryant's claim also references foot injuries that seem unrelated to the incident cited, raising questions about the overall coherence of his legal challenge.

He seeks compensation for what he describes as potentially permanent medical conditions resulting from the event. The transition of this lawsuit to a federal court is likely to bring a more rigorous examination of the facts and a broader legal scrutiny.

WWE now has until July 3rd to file a formal response to Bryant's allegations, according to the latest court documents. This move indicates a significant step in the legal process, potentially setting precedents for how similar cases are handled in the future.

It also highlights the serious nature of the allegations and the possible implications for event safety standards. In a related matter, WWE is concurrently addressing another lawsuit filed by Marvin Jackson, who alleges similar hearing damage sustained during WrestleMania 38 in Dallas.

As the legal processes unfold, the outcomes of these cases will provide a clearer picture of WWE’s responsibility and the safety measures in place at their events. The evolving legal battles underscore the challenges WWE faces in managing event-related injuries and the subsequent public and legal repercussions.