Pro wrestler Matt Borne, better known to WWE fans as the evil (and sometimes good) Doink The Clown, passed away in June 2013 at 56. Coroners revealed an overdose of painkillers was the cause of death.
A new suit filed in Dallas federal court Friday on behalf of Borne’s children, Matthew and Teagan Osborne, claims that traumatic brain injuries caused the overdose of painkillers, and names World Wrestling Entertainment as the sole defendant.
The suit, echoing those filed in recent years by pro football players suffering from brain injuries caused by years’ worth of concussions, alleges that wrestling led to “traumatic brain injuries” that resulted in “depression and drug abuse, which ultimately resulted in his untimely death.” The lawsuit says Osborne wasn’t the only wrestler victimized by wrestling’s scripted violence, where phony beatings led to real injuries. It lists more than a dozen others, among them members of the Von Erich family.
“When forced to acknowledge the risks to which it subjects its wrestlers — by script, on a daily basis — WWE took inadequate steps to correct the problem or to address its injurious conduct, the full consequences of which are still coming to light,” says the suit. “Indeed, WWE continues a course of conduct designed to mislead its wrestlers, and designed to mislead Matthew Osborne until his death, about the injuries they sustained while wrestling for WWE by failing to disclose pertinent facts or offering misleading truths.”
You can check out the News‘ website for a full copy of the filing. This bit is particularly interesting:
The suit, filed by “doctor-lawyer” Shezad Malik, who reps personal-injury suits out of his Greenville Avenue and Southlake offices, doesn’t specify how much the family wants.
It’s never a good sign when your profession shows up in quotation marks.
Regardless, the world of pro wrestling has been ravaged by premature deaths thanks to drug use and mounting years of physical injuries, so this isn’t the first or the last time we’ll hear of it. We’ll keep you updated on the story as it develops.