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By Mike Johnson on 2023-03-21 12:11:00 has an update on the the lawsuit filed this past January in Texas over an alleged injury that took place at Wrestlemania 38 in Dallas.

As we previously reported, Marvin Jackson filed a lawsuit against WWE on 1/12 before the District Court of Tarrant County, Texas alleging that he lost hearing in his left ear while an "invitee" to Wrestlemania 38 due to a pyrotechnics blast that occurred as part of the WWE production.  Jackson's lawsuit requested a jury trial and was seeking monetary relief of more than $1,000,000, including damages of any kind, penalties, costs, expenses, prejudgment interest, and attorney’s fees.

WWE filed a request on 2/17 to have the lawsuit moved to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division.    WWE has since filed a motion requesting that the matter be moved to arbitration.  On 2/24, they argued to the court that before any purchase of Wrestlemania tickets could be made online, fans had to check several boxes, in effect agreeing to the terms and conditions of the ticket purchase at AT&T Stadium, which included agreeing to enter arbitration over any legal issues. 

Jackson responded to the request on 3/17, requesting that the court rule against WWE's request.  Jackson's argument is that since his nephew purchased the tickets to Wrestlemania as a gift, Jackson never paid for the tickets, never agreed to any terms and conditions related to the tickets (i.e. the arbitration) and never even had physical possession of the tickets as they were digitally stored on his nephew's phone.

A ruling on that matter has not yet been made, but WWE is asking that the lawsuit be paused and not allowed to continue until the arbitration process has played out.  

Jackson's lawsuit alleges:

"On or about April 3, 2022, Plaintiff attended WrestleMania 38 which was hosted by Defendant and located at AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, Texas 76011.

Plaintiff was an invitee on the premises. Defendant was the occupier of the premises.

Plaintiff was seated next to the stage at the venue. When performance began, pyrotechnics went off. The blast from the pyrotechnics was so loud that it caused Plaintiff to
lose almost all hearing in his left ear.

No facts suggest that anything Plaintiff did or failed to do in any way caused or contributed to the incident or resulting damages.

Defendant failed to notify anyone or place any warnings to warn of the existence of the dangers associated with pyrotechnics.

As a result of the incident, Plaintiff suffered serious injuries."

The lawsuit accuses WWE of Negligence, Gross Negligence and Strict Liability and claims WWE knew of the risk involved in using the pyrotechnics and that he was injured due to the "objective, extreme risk that Defendant was subjectively aware of yet disregarded for cosmetic effect and pecuniary gain."

In regard to WWE's liability, Jackson's lawsuit claims:

"Defendant is strictly liable for Plaintiff’s injuries arising from the pyrotechnic display because the use of pyrotechnics indoors constitutes an “abnormally dangerous activity” for the purposes of the common law rule that a party carrying on an abnormally dangerous activity is strictly liable for the damages caused thereby.

Due to the proximity of the pyrotechnics to the invitees, the indoor nature of the display, and the inherent danger of pyrotechnics, the degree of risk of harm to invitees was particularly high at WrestleMania 38. The likelihood of harm associated with those risks was commensurate with the risk. Though Defendant’s lack of reasonable care caused Plaintiff’s injury, Plaintiff asserts that no amount of reasonable care could eliminate risk that accompanies use of indoor pyrotechnics. The damage stemming from loud blasts from pyrotechnics was exacerbated by the closed atmosphere of an indoor facility like AT&T Stadium. The harm arose from the loud sound produced by the pyrotechnic blast.

While the use of pyrotechnic displays is commonplace on holidays at outdoor events, the use of deafening pyrotechnics in indoor facilities with echoing effects is an irregular practice and should not be considered a matter of common usage.

Moreover, the relative value of indoor pyrotechnic displays is marginal compared to the inherent risk it puts on crowded audiences in indoor facilities. The potential for harm by burns or deafening noise cannot be outweighed by the cosmetic effects of indoor pyrotechnics."

Pyro is obviously a regular feature of major WWE events.

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