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)