A handful of professional wrestlers have teamed up to take down their competition; except this time, the battle is in the courtroom and not the squared circle. We all know professional wrestling is scripted, but the injuries and physicality involved is very real. Ryan Sakoda, Luther Reigns, and Big Russ McCullough have filed a lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), seeking damages related to injuries sustained in the ring, harsh working conditions and lack of physical care. The wrestlers are claiming that WWE management, under the orders of CEO Vince McMahon, forced wrestlers to put themselves in unsafe environments, partake in dangerous activities, and perform through injuries. Claims go as far to say that some wrestlers were punished, removed from TV/storylines, or publicly embarrassed for attempting to prioritize their own health.
It can be assumed that one who takes part in violent activity is at risk of permanent injury. In many cases, however, the reward is well worth the occupational health risks. This is a justification that can be seen as far back as Roman Gladiators, who won riches and celebrations across the Empire for their successes despite facing certain death for their failures. The same holds true today, where aside from stunt drivers or Chris Brown’s girlfriend, a professional football player might be the most dangerous gig in the entertainment industry. The shelf life of an NFL player, especially those at positions prone to poundings (such as running back), is only a few years. Players who have spent their lives honing their craft are given a very small timeframe to cash in on their talent and to position themselves financially for the future. Even if a player remains healthy, fatigue and athletic decline can be seen by the age of 30. Just ask the guy who drafts Chad Ochocinco in your fantasy league this year.
A young aspiring actress who was disabled permanently in an on-set accident for the movie “Transformers 3” has been awarded $18.5 million in tort. In 2010, Gabriela Cedillo was acting as an extra in the movie and her particular part was during a stunt scene set on a freeway. The producers had about 80 extras driving cars (their own cars, actually), with the main filmed action being an elaborate explosion and flinging of props/characters in whatever happens at that moment in the movie. If you’ve never seen any of the Transformers series, know that explosions and stunts and general shock-and-awe forms the bulk of the plot. The day before the accident, the filmmakers had tried and failed at the same stunt. Cedillo’s lawsuit claimed that the day of, shoddy welding had caused a bracket to snap and an extremely taut cable to whip Cedillo’s blue Toyota Scion, pierce right through the frame, and strike Cedillo’s skull. The accident caused Cedillo to lose a third of her skull and part of the right side of her brain. She has limited cognitive ability and has lost all movement on the left side of her body.