PWInsider - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE



By Mike Johnson on 2023-05-09 16:49:00

The lawsuit filed this past January in Texas over an alleged injury that took place at Wrestlemania 38 in Dallas was dismissed today by United States District Judge Mark T. Pittman, who sided with WWE's February request that the lawsuit should be moved from The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division to arbitration.

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.

The court has dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, which means Jackson could not bring the lawsuit back to life before the same court.  He will have to now enter arbitration in order to attempt to gain some sort of legal remedy.

 On 2/24, WWE had 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.   

The court later ordered each side to file supplemental material arguing their sides on the potential arbitration by the end of the day yesterday so the court could consider the matter.  WWE's brief noted that another court case involving a cruise line sided with the cruise line over a woman suing who claimed she had never entered into an agreement with them because her daughter had made the bookings and check her mother in, with WWE claiming that sets a legal precedent.  Jackson's side argued that even if WWE meets the burden of proof that it should go to arbitration, Jackson "put forth sufficient evidence to create genuine disputes of material fact as to both: (1) his notice of the arbitration agreement; and (2) Jackson being considered a third party beneficiary", including that previous Supreme Court rulings favored his argument.

Jackson's attorneys had requested an oral hearing to argue their case before the court, but that was not allowed.

In his nine-page ruling, Pittman had decreed that Jackson was under the legal agreement for the Wrestlemania ticket purchase, even if his nephew had purchased it for him.

Jackson's lawsuit had alleged:

"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.

More as we confirm it.

If you enjoy you can check out the AD-FREE PWInsider Elite section, which features exclusive audio updates, news, our critically acclaimed podcasts, interviews and more by clicking here!