Independent wrestler files multi-million dollar lawsuit against WWE

Oct 4, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck

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

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rescinded, saying this was due to a licensing issue, and not related to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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