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Independent wrestler files multi-million dollar lawsuit against WWE



An independent wrestler is suing WWE, accusing talent relation officials
of rescinding a job offer because he had tested positive for an
infectious disease.

In the lawsuit filed last Monday in Ontario Superior Court, Devon
Nicholson, 28, claims WWE hired him then revoked the contract even
though he disclosed he had Hepatitis C.

Nicholson is seeking $600,000 damages for wrongful dismissal, $250,000
damages for emotional distress and suffering, and punitive damages in
the amount of $5 million.

The lawsuit alleges that in May 2009, Nicholson took part in a WWE
tryout camp in Tampa, Florida. He was praised by Pat Paterson for being
the best wrestler in the camp and subsequently received a three year
talent contract. The company flew Nicholson to Pittsburgh on August 20,
2009, to undergo medical screening under WWE medical director Dr. Joe
Maroon.

According to the lawsuit, “On the day of his medical examination with
WWE physicians, Devon informed the WWE’s medical staff that he was
Hepatitis C positive. Devon had recently discovered, on June 23, 2009,
that he had tested positive for Hepatitis C. The first doctor he
consulted, Dr. Donohue, informed him that with the WWE’s “No Blood”
policy, he would have no problem in clearing him to wrestle. The second
doctor consulted, Dr. Sisk, informed him that it was WWE’s medical
director, Dr. Joe Maroon’s ultimate decision. Devon finally spoke to Dr.
Maroon over the phone several days after his medical examinations in
Pittsburgh. He was informed by Dr. Maroon that his medical decision
would be taken by talent relations.”

Nicholson later received a phone call from Ty Bailey from WWE’s talent
relations department who informed him that his contract was being
rescinded, saying this was due to a licensing issue, and not related to
his health condition.

“Mr. Bailey was referring to the fact that 5 states in the USA do not
allow wrestlers to compete if they are Hepatitus C positive,” the suit
says. “The WWE used this platform to discriminate against Devon despite
the fact he could have wrestled everywhere else where the WWE holds
events in North America and overseas.”

Nicholson is asserting that by rescinding the contract that they
discriminated against his human rights and caused him psychological and
financial injuries.

(full credit: The Wrestling Globe Newsletter)






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10 Responses

  1. Richard says:

    I hate to say it but in a work environment such as the one in the WWE and wrestling in general this guy shouldn’t be allowed to work. Blood often becomes a part of the sport, whether it’s for show or by accident and it could easily spread to other wrestlers. I’m with WWE on this one.

  2. OstegoAmigo says:

    I bet you anything that 99.9% of the wrestlers would not wrestle a person that is Hep C positive. This guy is a moron and his case will be thrown out. Even though there is a “No Blood” clause in the WWE, accidents are known to happen and they probably didn’t want to take that risk.

  3. chris says:

    This case is laughable, and should be thrown out.

    Depending on the overall language of the contract, if it is determined that a perspective worker has a contractable blood born disease, in a close environment like the WWE, then the company could have a right of termination over the contract.

    The WWE I’m sure has a very intelligent legal staff, and the contract word have been worded to include golden parachutes for the company. The burden falls on Mr. Nicholson to have read and reviewed the contract. I don’t think that he has a legal issue in this case, there is no basis for bias, and as anti-trsut lawsuits that have been brought against the NFL, MLB, NBA, and so on, a performance position such as professional wrestler is a voluntary occupation (meaning that Mr. Nicholson is not bound by education or other means to only pursue the career of a professional wrestler) and that no one is assured to be able to play proffesional sports.

    WWE should win this case, I’m more curious on where Nicholson tries to have venue. Florida, where I’m assuming that the contract was signed, or in WWE’s home base in Conn.

  4. Scott says:

    im sorry you’re wrong, the guy clearly stated he was Hep C positive he did everything correct, if the WWE had a problem with this why offer him a a contract in the first place? Hardly laughable to me the guy clearly disclosed what he had wrong with him if they had a problem with it then they should’ve told him to go home straight away.

    To me this guy is being victimised pure and simple, just another reason to turn off from the WWE product.

  5. JD Storm says:

    i can’t see WWE losing this case. while WWE can’t always avoid things from happening to it’s roster, this is one clear case where they could see a problem coming and chose to not take any unneeded risks. no court in their right mind would rule against WWE on this issue.

  6. Oliver says:

    Hannibal is at it again… He screwed so many people in the world of wrestling, he should be blackballed everywhere.

  7. Muahaha says:

    Scott,

    He only disclosed it upon arriving for his medical screening. This was well after him being offered the contract. Read the part where it lists the date he found out he tested positive and only then informed the WWE medical board as he was about to undergo their screening process.

    He does not have much of a case

  8. -Jay- says:

    His catch phrase could have been “joo can’t un-C me!”

    Think of the marketing wwe… :|

  9. chris says:

    Scott, he was duty bound to have not only informed the WWE of his medical condition, but also duty bound to have informed those running the try out camp of his medical condition. Had he bled, and infected another wrestler, that individual could actually have a civil lawsuit against him, and more so, an actionable claim against the WWE (in cases like this, it is likely that a person would sue a company civilly because it is very rare to sue another private citizen and receive a high cash reward) This further validates my point, and I’m willing to say that his failure to disclose hism previous medical condition is grounds to rule the contract moot and ineffective.

  10. Scott says:

    Maybe but WWE claimed that they terminated his contract due to licencing reasons? So it further add’s to my point the guy has been treated unfairly and deserves some justice here.

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