Legal troubles are nothing new for WWE, and now, one fan has filed a lawsuit against the company alleging that he suffered severe hearing loss following WrestleMania 38 in Dallas, TX.
PWInsider reports that according to the lawsuit that was filed on January 12th in the District Court of Tarrant County, TX, plaintiff Marvin Jackson was an invitee at WrestleMania 38 and lost hearing in his left ear due to a pyrotechnics blast as part of the show.
“On or about April 3, 2022, Plaintiff attended WrestleMania 38 which was hosted by Defendant and located at AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, Texas 76011.
Plaintiff was an invitee on the premises. Defendant was the occupier of the premises.
Plaintiff was seated next to the stage at the venue. When performance began, pyrotechnics went off. The blast from the pyrotechnics was so loud that it caused Plaintiff to
lose almost all hearing in his left ear.
No facts suggest that anything Plaintiff did or failed to do in any way caused or contributed to the incident or resulting damages.
Defendant failed to notify anyone or place any warnings to warn of the existence of the dangers associated with pyrotechnics.
As a result of the incident, Plaintiff suffered serious injuries.”
Marvin Jackson Claims That WWE Is Solely Responsible For His Alleged Injuries
When it comes to WWE’s liability in this case, the lawsuit alleges that the company should take full responsibility for Jackson’s hearing loss as the conditions for injury were greatly increased by using pyrotechnics indoors, calling the display an “abnormally dangerous activity.”
“Defendant is strictly liable for Plaintiff’s injuries arising from the pyrotechnic display because the use of pyrotechnics indoors constitutes an “abnormally dangerous activity” for the purposes of the common law rule that a party carrying on an abnormally dangerous activity is strictly liable for the damages caused thereby.
Due to the proximity of the pyrotechnics to the invitees, the indoor nature of the display, and the inherent danger of pyrotechnics, the degree of risk of harm to invitees was particularly high at WrestleMania 38. The likelihood of harm associated with those risks was commensurate with the risk.
Though Defendant’s lack of reasonable care caused Plaintiff’s injury, Plaintiff asserts that no amount of reasonable care could eliminate risk that accompanies use of indoor pyrotechnics. The damage stemming from loud blasts from pyrotechnics was exacerbated by the closed atmosphere of an indoor facility like AT&T Stadium. The harm arose from the loud sound produced by the pyrotechnic blast.
While the use of pyrotechnic displays is commonplace on holidays at outdoor events, the use of deafening pyrotechnics in indoor facilities with echoing effects is an irregular practice and should not be considered a matter of common usage.
Moreover, the relative value of indoor pyrotechnic displays is marginal compared to the inherent risk it puts on crowded audiences in indoor facilities. The potential for harm by burns or deafening noise cannot be outweighed by the cosmetic effects of indoor pyrotechnics.”
Despite the lawsuit alleging that indoor pyrotechnics are “abnormally dangerous,” it is common practice for WWE to use pyro as part of their programming in multiple indoor locations across the world. This resulted in catastrophe at the 2022 Royal Rumble, however, as the WrestleMania sign caught fire following Ronda Rousey‘s Rumble win.
The lawsuit requests that a jury trial be held, and is also asking for monetary relief for the plaintiff of over $1 million including damages of any kind, penalties, costs, expenses, prejudgment interest, and attorney’s fees.
On February 17th, WWE requested to have the lawsuit moved to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. No ruling has been made regarding that request, and WWE has not responded any further to the lawsuit at this time.
WWE has also found itself the subject of multiple lawsuits after Vince McMahon announced his return to the company back in January. Multiple parties have filed against the Chairman of the Board, saying that his return is not in the best interest of shareholders.