Jerry McDevitt Alleges Recent CTE Lawsuit Was ‘Plagiarized’ NFL Lawsuit, Reveals Amount Owed To WWE


In Tuesday’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast, Wrestling Inc. Editor Nick Hausman spoke to longtime WWE lawyer Jerry McDevitt after WWE’s recent victory in the CTE lawsuit against them. McDevitt reviewed the history of the WWE lawsuits brought by lawyer Konstantine Kyros.

“Well at first we noticed before October 2014 this guy from Kyros was advertising on the internet and soliciting former wrestlers to contact him to bring lawsuits that would be modeled on the cases that had been brought against the NFL, which if you remember, the NFL agreed to pay a billion dollars and ended up settling down, “McDevitt recalled.” And when they did that, they kind of emboldened a lot of plaintiffs, lawyers for the class actions and the like not to prosecute anyone with a history of head trauma, concussions or things of that nature, and they did.

“They sued NCAA college football teams and high school, water polo teams. You name it, and Kyros’ suggested solicitations on his website suggested, wrongly in our view, that he had somehow been involved in getting the settlement for the NFL players and would be able to replicate. that if only those wrestlers would agree to hire him so that he could sue WWE for the same amount of money and the same for the old wrestlers. So he was essentially soliciting them by promising them that there was nothing to lose.

“You can make some money out of it, and I’ll take a contingency charge from what I get, but it won’t cost you a thing, and it’s actually come out on radio shows and stuff and podcasts and done some statements to this effect Well, the more people who sign up, the more pressure we can put on WWE to settle these cases and pay us a lot of money. And we know he said to these people that he would be able to use this litigation to renegotiate long-expired contracts and get them better royalties and a bunch of nonsense frankly.

McDevitt went on to discuss the other lawsuits brought against WWE by several people. All concussion-related lawsuits were dismissed by the courts in 2018.

“And I feel bad that he misled so many people because he did, and eventually Billy Jack Haynes, a frankly known sort of sociopath, became the first person to sign up for it. and filed a lawsuit in Washington in October 2014. ”McDevitt said. “It was his first class action lawsuit, and then, shortly thereafter, Vito Legrasso and a child named Evan Singleton, who was at the Performance Center, filed a second case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. . Then there was a third class action lawsuit filed in California by Ross McCullough and two other ex-performers.

“Then there was a case in Tennessee in the name of a girl who was Doink’s girlfriend or something for his wrongful death, and then Mabel’s widow, Nelson Frazier, brought a wrongful death case. in Tennessee. And so all of these cases, we had basically moved to Connecticut because they all had contracts that said litigation would continue in Connecticut. And then after that, Kyros took another lawsuit on behalf of 50 or 60 people who signed up for a so-called mass action complaint with Joe Laurinitis being the main plaintiff in this case, and 60 others. or as many as there are. were listed to be the plaintiffs in this case, all of them making these kinds of claims about alleged brain damage, CTEs and all that stuff.

“And in the last case, in the Laurinitis case, he tried to ask for more money and royalties and a bunch of nonsense stuff like that. And that’s what basically happened, and we, unlike the NFL, decided that we weren’t going to pay anything and that we were going to challenge those claims because we basically knew what they were.

Hausman asked McDevitt what helped WWE win this business. McDevitt noted that the state of Connecticut has a limitation law that has helped in favor of WWE, as some of the cases would not have been allowed under the Nixon and Carter administrations.

“Well, Connecticut has a statute of limitations, among other things, that says you have three years, by law, ‘the alleged act or omission of bringing an injury lawsuit,’ and so if the act or omission being complained of is getting hit on the head causing concussions or CTEs or whatever to the extent that you are trying to blame someone for it, you have three years from the time this happened to take legal action, ”McDevitt explained. “And some of these people, especially those in the Laurinitis case, I mean there were some, I don’t remember his name, but his claims would have been statutorily barred during the administration. by Richard Nixon.

“Others would have been banned when Jimmy Carter was president. These assertions were therefore really old and out of date. Beyond that, there was no indication that WWE had done anything wrong or ever hid anything from anyone. The evidence is pretty clear.

McDevitt said the first time there was any indication of CTE in professional wrestling was with Chris Benoit. He pointed out that it was in 2007 and that there should not be a lawsuit seven or nine years later because there was time before that to file a lawsuit. He also pointed out that some of those involved either worked in other companies outside of WWE or only worked for WWE for a short time.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s clear that the first time there was any indication that CTE had anything in pro wrestling was in the case of Chris Benoit, and with the publicity that took place with Chris Benoit, it’s not even plausible for anyone in business wrestling, especially wrestlers and especially people who knew Chris Benoit to say they weren’t aware that Chris Benoit had supposedly been diagnosed of CTE and that it had been associated with head trauma, “McDevitt said. And it happened in 2007, so in 2007, there’s no one in the wrestling world who can plausibly say that ‘he was not aware of Benoit’s discoveries.

“If you had symptoms or whatever, you shouldn’t have waited until 2014 or 2016 to file a lawsuit, and most of those people, to be honest with you, Nick, though. there are a few exceptions, most of these people haven’t even played just for WWE or even long for WWE. There are people here in this class of people who had nothing more than a cup of coffee with WWE and went there after. “

McDevitt cited the example of an individual who claimed that a concussion had disabled him to the point that he could no longer drive a car. However, the person could be seen on Instagram lifting dead people and competing in World Strongman competitions.

“So it was just a seizure of money, and others like Evan Singleton, you can go online, type his name on Instagram, he’s a guy claiming he was totally disabled. Couldn’t. couldn’t drive a car, couldn’t do anything due to a single concussion he had while playing at the Performance Center. Yet you can find pictures of him online lifting 800 pounds and participating in contests World Strongman, “revealed McDevitt.” He is one of the strongest men in the world in athletics competition as he files a lawsuit in court saying he is totally disabled and cannot not even driving a car, that sort of thing, and it was all exposed to the judge.

McDevitt also said Kyros “essentially plagiarized” the NFL lawsuit, replacing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s name with a WWE representative. He said that after the sanction orders, Kyros is now required to pay WWE “hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.”

“Kyros was caught in the last lawsuit essentially to plagiarize the lawsuit of the NFL allegations, the allegations that were made against the NFL which resulted in the success of the case against them where the NFL, unlike WWE, had made various public statements and actually published articles in scientific literature and magazines and so on to minimize, if you will, the effects of concussions, “McDevitt explained.” And Roger Goodell would have made various alleged statements in the NFL complaint. All Kyros did was get his hands on the NFL complaint, and it literally changes where the complaint would say, ‘Roger Goodell said the following, concussions don’t cause any long term damage, and it is safe to return to work one day you have a concussion. He would just change that to say that a WWE rep had said that.

“Just outright make up bogus things like that. The kind of stuff lawyers don’t do, and we’ve brought that to the attention of the court and multiple other violations on his part. And because of his misconduct, he has been sanctioned three times by the federal judge who had control of the case. And now faces sanction orders for what we say will require him to pay us hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. “

Hausman asked if Kyros had the capacity to pay the amount he is required to pay. McDevitt admitted he wasn’t sure Kyros was working from his Massachusetts home. McDevitt said Kryos “should be struck off the bar,” and noted that the reputable lawyers who teamed up with Kyros left as soon as Kyros was sanctioned.

“Well, who knows? I know he trains away from home, ”McDevitt said. “I mean you can find people on the internet like Billy Jack Haynes and some of the first people he spoke to who marry, which I guess he must have told them, that he was this great lawyer who brought the NFL on his knees and got them all that money, and he was going to do the same with WWE and the like, but actually I think he’s training out of his house in Massachusetts.

“I don’t think he has an office in Massachusetts, but I think what he did was spent a career preparing litigation using these kinds of techniques, and then he usually asks other lawyers to jump in and do it. litigation for him and that’s what he’s done here. And when he initially filed those cases, there was something like, I don’t know, five or six other law firms jumped into the idea, oh, it was going to be a good thing to be involved in the complainant’s side of the case.

“But as we started to expose more of what was going on, by the time the case was over and it was dismissed and it was being sanctioned, they would jump out of the ship as fast as they could and bail out saying that ‘they hadn’t. I don’t want anything to do with the case anymore. So by the time we got to the roll call, Kyros was pretty much alone. None of the original law firms stayed with him and said, “We don’t want to deal with this anymore.” This tells you something that reputable lawyers have taken away from the case. “

McDevitt’s full interview was broadcast as part of today’s episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as they release Monday through Friday afternoon by clicking here.


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