80s star sues Vince McMahon over royalties
Dec 7, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck
Douglas Somerson has filed a lawsuit against WWE and Vince and Linda
McMahon, according to court documents obtained today by Wrestling Globe
Somerson, 60, who wrestled as “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers is seeking
unspecified damages and costs by jury trial claiming he’s owed royalties
for WWE’s use of his name, image and persona within various items of
merchandise, specifically DVDs on the career of Shawn Michaels and WWE
Greatest Cage Matches of All Time DVD.
The suit, filed last week in Fulton County, GA, Superior Court, claimed
that WWE and the McMahons engaged in acts and omissions outside the
State of Georgia that caused “tortuous injury” to Somerson from within
“The failure to even attempt to contact Mr. Somerson to obtain the right
to use his name and likeness as well as the failure to make any attempt
to compensate Mr. Somerson demonstrates bad faith and malice on behalf
of the defendants,” the complaint said.
The suit also asserts that Somerson is now in poor health as a result of
his professional wrestling career. Incredibly, he is claiming to have
suffered more than 400 concussions in addition to broken bones and
inoperable injuries to his neck, back, knee, and foot.
“Mr. Somerson works to this very day, despite the massive physical
injuries he has sustained. Mr. Somerson has never entered into any
agreement with WWE, the McMahons, or any predecessor entity with regard
to the right to use his name and/or likeness.”
Somerson began wrestling in Minneapolis towards the late ’60s. He is
best remembered for his work in Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling
Association in the mid 1980s as part of a tag team with “Playboy” Buddy
Rose, managed by Sherri Martell, both of whom have passed away in recent
He is represented by Atlanta-based attorney Edward M. Gilgor.
(source: Wrestling Globe Newsletter)