June 22nd, 2010
02:05 PM ET
4 years ago

McMahon named in WWE lawsuit

 McMahon is named in a new lawsuit by the widow of a former WWE wrestler.
McMahon is named in a new lawsuit by the widow of a former WWE wrestler.

(Updated with WWE response)

(CNN) – Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon, the former Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment CEO, is facing a lawsuit over her former company's alleged promotional use of a wrestler who died more than a decade ago.

In a lawsuit reportedly filed in the U.S. District Court in Hartford, Connecticut, the widow of deceased WWE wrestler Owen Hart says the company is continuing to use Hart's image in promotional materials even though it agreed not to do so after Hart's 1999 death.

Hart, among the most successful professional wrestlers in the 1990's, died after an equipment malfunction during a wrestling event led him to fall more than 80 feet from ceiling rafters. Hart's widow was later awarded $18 million in a wrongful death suit against the WWE (then called the WWF).

Hart's widow is now alleging WWE, and the McMahons specifically, violated the terms of the settlement by using Hart in promotional videos.

"In the 11 years since Owen's tragic and avoidable death, I have worked tirelessly to disassociate Owen's name and likeness from anything related to WWE in order to protect our children from any reminder of the circumstances surrounding their father's death, and to avoid any misplaced perception that I endorse WWE," Mary Hart said in a statement.

News of the lawsuit could be a setback for McMahon's campaign, which has downplayed the candidate's association to the more controversial aspects of the lucrative business she and her husband ran for close to three decades.

Ed Patru, McMahon's communications director, told CNN he "assume[s] the company will be responding at some point today."

McMahon, the likely Republican nominee for Senate in Connecticut, faces Democratic state Attorney Gen. Richard Blumenthal. Polls show Blumenthal with a double-digit advantage over McMahon, even after he admitted to making misstatements about his military service.

"I was shocked to learn earlier this year that they have been using Owen’s name and likeness in videos, websites, television programs and print materials. Given this callous, insensitive and irresponsible behavior, one must question the moral character of Vince and Linda McMahon and the manner in which they conduct their business," Hart also said in the statement.

UPDATE: Speaking with CNN, WWE lawyer Jerry McDevitt said an agreement had never been reached to refrain from using footage of Owen Hart.

“WWE is well within their rights” to use the material, McDevitt said.

McDevitt also questioned the timing of the reported lawsuit, given McMahon is now running for Senate.

“In eleven years [since the initial settlement], we have not received an e-mail, a letter, or anything from Hart,” he said.


Filed under: Connecticut • Linda McMahon • Popular Posts
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Nobama

    This is news? Nice to see the Democratic smear machine at work. Shall we mention how many lawsuits were pending against BHO the day before he took office?

    June 22, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Shame on you Mrs. McMahon.

    June 22, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. promotional use of a wrestler who died more than a decade ago

    way to go GOPer, way to find a new low

    unbelievable

    June 22, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Good I hope they lose. They knew those wrestlers were full of 'roids and probably even encouraged it.

    June 22, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. bennie new york

    What a terrible Senate race: a Vietnam liar vs. a former WWE executive. For the sake of all the good people who live in CT, I hope that Ralph Nader throws his hat into the ring.

    June 22, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. William Jefferson

    Since the Obama ad comments are closed...

    Whoey and lies because the republicon party is as bereft of ideas as always.

    If you doubt for a second that this WH is more transparent than any in history - you have not been on the White House webpage. You can access just about anything you can think of to look up. And as far as FOIA requests? bush reversed the Clinton era stance, which was under Clinton, unless there was a nmational security reason to not comply, just give out the documents. Under bush wihin a day of his taking the oath, he sent out a directive to all federal agencies that said any FOIA request would have to prove they had a right to the information (which is opposite of the intent of the law) President Obama, again within days of taking office, went back to the CLinton era rule. You righties get talking points from your Masters at fux and talk radio then repeat them without ever taking a second to verify. Never a thought on your own, never a second to do a tiny bit of homework, which using thinternet is so easy it is almost shameful.

    And who in their right mind would vote for the wrestling woman? Are you people THAT stupid? She should be a rep because she is the wife of he guy who producers yer favrit telebision shew?

    June 22, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Lucullus

    You got to love it! McMahon the former CEO of a fake sports entity has now become the candidate of a political party with a fake respect for it's country and it's citizens. Big leap there.

    June 22, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Well duh...she's a GOPer/conservative. Don't you know what "free market" means? Here's their definition:

    "Free market" = "I get to do whatever the hell I want , whenever I want, however I want and no matter what the law says, what contracts I've signed or who it requires that I step on...and the only that defines the limits of my behavior is who I can afford to pay off."

    June 22, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Steve -Illinois

    Big scandal here! NOT!!!!! This is news, why???? Anybody who lets something insignificant like this change their vote, probably shouldn't be voting!

    June 22, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. mike

    and this idiot wants to run for the senate the only thing that her and the goofy looking husband should be running from is another law suit
    iook lets face it she is a perfect republican crook Rush Limpball would
    be proud of her

    June 22, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Linda will fit right into the republican culture of corruption.

    June 22, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Jay A. Gonzalez

    I'm glad Mcmahon has a lawsuit against her. After all her company exploited wrestlers for the sake of entertainment and allowed alot of them to die early due to massive amount of steroid use. Also her companies carelessness led to the death of Owen Hart, Why would Connecticut's Republicans want her as their candidate for Senate? Peter Schiff is the obvious candidate without the skeletons that Mcmahon has.

    June 22, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. doug

    Obama and his lib goons certainly have violated a commie-right law on Chariman Mao.

    Hitler and Mao had the school children singing chants of how great the Dictator was, America was better than that before Janurary 20 2009.

    June 22, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. John

    Let's count how many times the word "smackdown" and reference to hitting people with chairs are used by the funny "adults" here. God, I wish the McMahons ran a successful vacuum cleaner business so the same old tired recycled "jokes" about wrestling don't get mentioned whenever the McMahons' name come up.

    June 22, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Duck Fallas

    Linda McMahon creates jobs. For emergency medical technicians.

    June 22, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. get real

    Shocking since I have always associated the WWE with very classy behavior.

    June 22, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Charlie in Maine

    Compared to some of the "events" in other states like South Carolina, the Conn GOP seems tame.

    I have absoulutely no problem with business people running for and being elected to office. But let's be clear Local State and Federal governments are not businesses. Anyone who says they can be run like businesses is lying to you, to themselves or both.

    Principal difference is: A business ( a successful one anyway) is in constant control of the raw materials they need to produce their product.

    A state can't say for example "Give us some law biding citizens so we won't have to build jails"
    A public school can't say "send us some kids who hvae had breakfast or who have been read to since birth"

    Now unlike business governments have to do the best they can with what they get. It is more like a family if you need a comparison. Based on history and geography we are all in this together.

    You what runs well like a busines? That's right a business.

    June 22, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    People like McMahon remind me of why the republicans have been so severely trashed in recent elections. People will once again reject the republican culture of corruption, their attacks on our constitutional guarantees, supporting big oil instead of Americans, backing insurance giants instead of common people, illegal wars, wiretapping, and secret meetings with oil executives.

    The crap continues, yet they and their bagger followers can provide no solutions to the problems they created.

    June 22, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. th

    Greed. That is all that needs to be said. Repubs will do anything for money.

    June 22, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Barack.Hussein.Obama-America's-Benevolent-DICTATOR

    Which just begs the question... Who cares??? This is America where everybody sues everybody else. It is a natural byproduct of churning out armies of lawyers instead of armies of engineers.

    June 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. flavoter

    Was this lady on steriod when this picture was taken?....

    Those magic trainers must really work . Just like her husband got very muscular in a very short period of time.

    What ever it takes to make that money I guess.

    June 22, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. chris

    I remember watching this live at the bar. one of the worst things I have ever seen.

    June 22, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. Adam

    I remember being at this event when it happened. Very tragic and shocking indeed. I think the Hart family is fully within their right to seperate entirely from the company.

    June 22, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. T

    That's is what the REP., do...................Dirty Bird

    June 22, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Jerry

    Sounds like the democrat AG contender tricky Dick is behind this one.

    June 22, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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