Saturday, February 28, 2009

Judge dismisses suit against WWE, by Monica Potts - The Advocate - 26th February 2009

STAMFORD -- A federal judge this week dismissed a lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. by former independent contract wrestlers who claimed the organization cheated them out of health care and other benefits.

The wrestlers -- Scott "Raven" Levy, Christopher "Kanyon" Klucsarits and "Above Average" Michael Sanders -- said the level of control exerted over them by the WWE qualified them as full-time employees.

They said they signed contracts that dictated their compensation, physical training regimens, dates and sites of matches, costumes and storylines for their wrestling personae. WWE also reserved the right to use their images and submitted them to drug screenings, the wrestlers said.

The WWE avoided withholding federal taxes from their paychecks by not classifying them as full-time employees, the suit said. The company did not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, nor did it pay for performers' benefits such as health care and vacation time, the suit said.

The suit was filed in July in state Superior Court and then was moved to U.S. District Court for Connecticut. The plaintiffs also sought class-action status.

On Monday in New Haven, Senior U.S. District Judge Peter Dorsey granted a WWE motion asking for dismissal. The suit was dismissed Tuesday.

The wrestlers' attorney, David Golub, said they would pursue the case and were considering their options. They could ask the judge to reconsider the decision or file.

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