Pro Wrestling Through The Courts:
The Wrestling Perspective Legal Project
Wrestling Through The Courts: The Wrestling Perspective Legal Project is a virtual library of court opinions and other legal documents related to pro wrestling.
Wrestling historians are encouraged to send legal documents for inclusion in this project. Our contact information is here.
McMahon v. Frank A. Gotch (191 Iowa 1; 179 N.W. 929) No, not that McMahon. Yes, that Gotch. Well, it's Gotch's estate now. Loans, deeds, and more fun ...
Zbyszko v. New York American (228 A.D. 277; 239 N.Y.S. 411) Is Stanislaus Zbyszko a gorilla? A New York Court must decide...
Fujita vs. Nagle (58 F.2d 184) Can being a professional wrestler get you deported? Ask Yasuji Fujita...
Texas (Red) Allen, alias G. C. Allen, v. The State. (122 Tex. Crim. 186; 54 S.W.2d 810) Texas (Red) Allen breaks the leg of a carnival mark ... he now appeals his sentence.
Fried v. Fabiani (120 Pa. Super. 558; 182 A. 717) Ray and Aurelio Fabiani terminate a contract with Rudolph Fried and Maurice Fishman. The latter sue and win a judgement. The Fabianis appeal claiming they were within their rights to terminate the contract...
William Lawson v. Isaiah Clawson (177 Md. 333; 9 A.2d 755) While attending a wrestling match, Isaiah Clawson is hurt when the bleachers break. Who is responsible?
Mark Kelly v. Lou Daro (47 Cal. App. 2d 418, 118 P.2d 37) Lou Daro tells the California State Legislature that Mark Kelly accepted money for writing positive stories about the Daro’s wrestling shows. Kelly sues for libel …
Ward v. Drennon (201 Ga. 605; 40 S.E.2d 549) Fred Ward wants to promote pro wrestling in the City of Atlanta. The city doesn't want to give him a permit to do so. Ward sues ...
B.A. DUSCKIEWICZ v. JACK CARTER, d/b/a JACK CARTER ENTERPRISES (115 Vt. 122; 52 A.2d 788) A wrestler flies out of the ring, hitting a fan in the process. The fan's hand and wrist are sprained, so he sues the promoter...
WHITFIELD v. COX (189 Va. 219) Virginia Cox attends a wrestling match, Virginia Cox is struck in the face by an empty whiskey bottle, thrown by some unidentified person, at the match. Virginia Cox sues James Whitfield, the promoter for the resulting damages. Virginia Cox is awarded $1,500 by a jury. James Whitfield appeals...
AL HAFT SPORT ENTERPRISES, INC. Tax Court 1949. Al Haft tries some slight of hand (and bookeeping) to get around paying his fair share of taxes. Mike Rotunda isn't going after him, but the IRS is...
AL HAFT SPORT ENTERPRISES, Inc. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE. (189 F.2d 384; 51-1 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) P9292; 40 A.F.T.R. (P-H) 709; 1951 P.H. P72,404) A Tax Court declares Al Haft Sports Enterprises owes the government quite a bit of money. Al seeks review of the Tax Court's decision...
Rubin v. American Sportsmen Television Equity Society (102 Cal. App. 2d 288; 227 P.2d 303; 19 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P66,280) The American Sportsmen Television Equity Society wants to picket in front of the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium while professional wrestling matches are taking place. The promoter gets an injunction. ASTES appeals...
Ramsey v. Kallio (62 So. 2d 146) Wrestler Rube Wright attacks Howard Ramsey and his wife, so the couple sues the promoter ...
Rubin v. American Sportsmen Television Equity Society (40 Cal. 2d 412; 254 P.2d 510; 32 L.R.R.M. 2056; 23 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P67,454) Rubin and the American Sportsmen Television Equity Society are fighting it out again.
Bristol v. Metropolitan Life (122 Cal. App. 2d 631; 265 P.2d 552) Did a police officer die of natural causes, or did the excitement at the wrestling match contribute to his death?
United States v. National Wrestling Alliance (1956 Trade Case (CCH) P68,507) ... The Infamous NWA Consent Decree
Lester Sample v. Alvah M. Eaton (145 Cal. App. 2d 312; 302 P.2d 431) A fan throws a Coke bottle during a Danny McShane wrestling match, nailing Lester Sample in the mouth. Sample sues the promoter (and his wife who happens to be running the concession stand).
Harold Myers vs. P.L. (Pinkie) George and The National Wrestling Alliance (271 F.2d 168; 1959 Trade Cas. (CCH) P69,497; 83 A.L.R.2d 1121) ... One of the most amazing instances of bizzare judicial conduct you'll ever read.
DAVIS v. JONES et al. (100 Ga. App. 546; 112 S.E.2d 3) Sterling "Dizzy" Davis injures an Atlanta Athletic Commission time keeper when he dives on him. The time keeper sues Davis, and promoters Paul Jones and Don McIntyre. The court dismisses the claims against Jones and McIntyre. The time keeper appeals...
A. G. Williams et al., Appellants, v. Jimmie Lee Bain et vir, Appellees
Kohler v. Kohler (31 Ill. App. 2d 151; 175 N.E.2d 603) Fred Kohler's ex-wife seeks modification to their divorce settlement ...
Dan Pletchas v. Kurt Von Poppenheim (148 Colo. 127; 365 P.2d 261) Pletchas is driving while having a few beers and has an accident. Von Poppenheim is one of Pletchas's passengers.
Contos v. Capital Wrestling Corporation (1963 Trade Cas. (CCH) P70,737) Vince McMahon and company stop suppling wrestlers to the Contos family, who in turn charge that McMahon and friends are engaging in monopolistic practices ...
National Wrestling Aliance v. Harold C. Myers. P. L. (Pinkie) George v. Harold C. Myers (325 F.2d 768; 1963 Trade Cas. (CCH) P70,973) Harold Myers gets a new trial and now it's the NWA's turn to appeal.
Carl Ulrich v. Minneapolis Boxing and Wrestling Club, Inc. and Others (268 Minn. 328; 129 N.W.2d 288; 14 A.L.R.3d 982) A 77-year old fan's femur is broken when a referee shoves him aside. Is the Minneapolis Boxing and Wrestling Club (aka. the AWA) liable for the referee's actions?
VON POPPENHEIM v. PORTLAND BOXING AND WRESTLING COMMISSION (241 Ore. 603; 407 P.2d 853) Von Poppenheim can't get a the Portland Boxing and Wrestling Commission to give him a promoter's license, so he insists that the Commission hire him to be a matchmaker...
L. F. PIERCE v. JOE MURNICK, t/a C & M PROMOTION (265 N.C. 707; 145 S.E.2d 11) A wrestler injures a front row fan when he is thrown from the ring, The fan sues the promotion ...
Reynolds v. Deep South Sports (211 So. 2d 37) A flying whiskey bottle strikes a fan at a wrestling match causing severe and permanent injuries. Is the wrestling promoter responsible?
Kurt Von Poppenheim v. Portland Boxing & Wrestling Commission (442 F.2d 1047; 1972 Trade Cas. (CCH) P74,047; 15 Fed. R. Serv. 2d (Callaghan) 458; 15 A.L.R. Fed. 396) Kurt Von Poppenheim is back, this time charging the Portland Boxing and Wrestling commission entered into a conspiracy "to restrain trade and commerce among the several states in the business of professional wrestling" ...
Murdock v. City of Jacksonville (361 F. Supp. 1083; 1973-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) P74,842) Here's one you probably never thought about ... If a city allows only one promoter to present pro wrestling at a municipal venue, is the city denying violating the civil rights of rival promoters?
Craig T. SMITH v. Edward H. McDANIEL a/k/a Wahoo McDaniel (503 F. Supp. 13) Wahoo McDaniel gets into a scuffle with a fan. Now he's using some legal maneuvers to get out of paying a judgement.
JAMES M. WILSON vs. NATIONAL WRESTLING ALLIANCE (CIVIL ACTION No. C79-1310A) Jim Wilson brings forward an antitrust case against the National Wrestling Alliance. The NWA tries to get a summary judgement ...
Crockett v. City of Charlotte (538 F. Supp. 1197) Jim Crockett Promotions is unhappy with the City of Charlotte's noise ordiance. So, they sue the City...
LESLIE GOODMAN FLIEHR v. RICHARD M. FIEHR (56 N.C. App. 465; 289 S.E.2d 105) Ric Flair appeals a child support and alimony settlement ...
Bruno Sammartino v. Capitol Wrestling Corporation and Vince McMahon (Civil Action No. 82-1979) Bruno Sammartino sues the Captiol Wrestling (the parent company of the WWF) and Vince McMahon for re-broadcasting royalties. Vince McMahon seeks to have the action against him dismissed.
Begin v. Georgia Championship Wrestling (172 Ga. App. 293; 322 S.E.2d 737) When Willene B. Begin attends a Georgia Championship Wrestling card, she trips on some "plastic strips" at ringside. Does she have a case?
Sills v. Mid-South Sports (550 So. 2d 909) Hacksaw Jim Duggan fractrures the eye socket of a fan. The trial court awards the fan $25,432. Duggan appeals...
Frick v. Ensor (557 So. 2d 1022) Buddy Landell tries to hit a fan who is calling him names. He misses and hits Rose Frick in the arm. She sues Landell and Mid-South Sports. Mid-South says it is not responsible for Landell's actions ...
Massey & Massey v. Jim Crockett Promotions et al (184 W. Va. 441; 400 S.E.2d 876) Sweet Stan Lane strikes a fan, fracturing the orbit of fan's left eye and other facial bones. The fan sues Jim Crockett Promotions, The Midnight Express, and Freedom Security and Detective Agency.
In re: Verne C. Gagne, Debtor. (166 B.R. 362) A former AWA World Champion, Verne Gagne also owned the one-time prosporous AWA promotion. But, now it's 1993, the AWA has closed up shop and Gagne is in bankruptcy court. The big question? Is Gagne's annuity exempt? For that matter, the desks, filing cabinets, wrestling mats, wrestling rings, and wrestling tapes? Yeah, those wrestling tapes ... with thousands of AWA matches on them...
In re: Gagne, Debtor (163 B.R. 819) Greg Gagne is in bankruptcy court. The former high flyer received $100,000 in workman's compensation for injuries sustained by while working for his father's company. Curiously, he received these benefits apparently around the time of his father's bankruptcy. (Things that make you go hmm...) Now, that he's declaring bankruptcy, Greg wants that $100,000 to be considered exempt ...
Gagne v. Bergquist (179 B.R. 884) Verne Gagne doesn't like the way the bankruptcy trustee is handling his estate. So he appeals ...
Gagne v. Christians (172 B.R. 50) Greg Gagne didn't like the Bankruptcy court's decision. So, he appeals ...
Ventura vs. Titan Sports (65 F.3d 725) This famous royalty case. Is Jesse Ventura entitled to royalties for the use of his likeness on videotapes and other merchandise marketed by the WWF?
Larry "Abdullah The Butcher" Shreve v. World Championship Wrestling (216 Ga. App. 387; 454 S.E.2d 555) Abduallah The Butcher sues WCW for wrongful appropriation of his name and likeness. The trial court grants a judgement in favor of WCW. Abdullah appeals...
Kaissy v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (T.C. Memo 1995-474) Sheik Adnan Al Kaissy is having trouble with a foe far more formidable than Verne Gagne. This time, Kaissy is facing ... The I.R.S.
Eadie v. McMahon (No. 5:91CV0423(WWE), No. 5:92CV0216(WWE)) Bill "Demolition Ax/The Masked Superstar" Eadie and Randy "Moondog Rexx/Original Demolition Smash" Colley sue Vince McMahon over royalties from and rights to the Demolition tag team ...
Titan Sports v. Turner Broadcasting Systems (981 F. Supp. 65) The WWF is claiming infringement over WCW's use of the Razor Ramon and Diesel characters. WCW seeks to dismiss...
In Re: Mark Madden; Titan Sports v. Turner Broadcasting Systems (151 F.3d 125; 49 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 1106; 41 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 202; 26 Media L. Rep. 2014) Can Mark Madden claim journalistic privilege for his work as a World Championship Wrestling announcer?
In Re Proposed Petition to Recall Governor Jesse Ventura (600 N.W.2d 714) A group of disgruntled citizens petition to recall Governor Body. Jesse isn't going down without a fight ... or a least a posedown.
Eadie v. McMahon (199 F.R.D. 45; 49 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 425) Eadie's status as an expert witness is in question.
NICOLE BASS v. THE WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION ENTERTAINMENT, INC., and STEVEN LOMBARDI Nicole Bass alleges sexual harassment, retaliation, sex discrimination, assault, battery, and negligence. The WWF seeks to dismiss ...
Bret Hart v. District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (843 A.2d 746) Bret Hart seeks worker's compensation for injuries sustained while working for World Championship Wrestling in the District of Columbia.
In re HHG CORP. A/K/A EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING, Debtor. Chapter 11, Case No. 01-B-11982 (ASH) UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, May 2, 2006, Decided.
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