WWE Lawsuit Over Owen Hart Settled

    April 4, 2013
    Sean Patterson
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The WWE may dominate the world of professional wrestling, but it will soon find itself paying up for using one of its former wrestlers’ images.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the WWE has settled a lawsuit with Owen Hart’s widow, Martha. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2010, alleged that Owen Hart’s estate is owed royalties for the WWE’s use of the wrestler’s image in the years since his death. It also claimed that the WWE had violated a contract restricting the use of Hart’s image, including his name. The details of the settlement have not yet been made public.

Owen Hart died on May 23, 1999 during a WWE (WWF at the time) pay-per-view event billed as Over the Edge. The 34-year-old wrestler was to have entered the ring by being lowered from rafters of the Kansas City, Missouri arena where the event was taking place. During the stunt, Hart’s harness malfunctioned and the wrestler fell over 70 feet to the ring below. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Hart family has already sued the WWE for negligence over Owen’s death, and received an $18 million settlement in 2000.

(Image courtesy Mandy Coombes/Wikimedia Commons)

  • Matthew Anderson

    You know, shit happens in these stunt situations. I don’t know why the WWE is being sued for something like this. The family can’t expect everything to go perfectly. It’s sad that it happened, but it was an accident. Next one we’re probably going to hear about is the Guerro family suing the WWE because they didn’t have people there to save Eddy before he crashed his car.

    • Dave

      “Guerro” family? Crashed his car? He was found in a hotel room.
      We’re talking about the family of a dead guy not being compensated properly by a massive corporation that’s directly profiting from his image.

  • Huh

    Matthew Anderson is such a freaking idiot. They sued the WWE because they were negligent in the case of the harness breaking. If your employer asks you to do something and their equipment isn’t functioning properly, it’s the company’s fault if there is an accident. (Side note: As Owen did not want to do the stunt that killed him. He was afraid and for a good reason it seems!) They are negligent. It’s the employer’s job to make sure everything functions properly in business. It’s not opinion, it’s the law. That’s why the Harts got 18 Million dollars. Also, they should be compensated when the WWE profits off Owen’s images OWNED BY THE HART FAMILY, it’s their right. I can’t go around making hamburgers calling them Burger King Burgers now can I? I’d be profiting off their image. Once again, it’s the law. I’m glad you don’t run this country.

  • Leah

    I’m so happy for the Hart family. It’s ridiculous that they had to even go through this. Cough it up McMahon, and hang your head in shame.