Owen Hart's Widow Files Lawsuit Against WWE
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
It's been more than a decade since professional wrestler Owen Hart died in a stunt orchestrated by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) but his name remains the subject of controversy up to this day. His wife, Martha Hart, has filed a lawsuit today against WWE, Vince McMahon (current chairman and CEO) and Linda McMahon (CEO until 2009) that claims that the said organization and the McMahons continue to use Owen Hart's name and image for marketing purposes against his family's wishes and in violation of contract.
"In the eleven years since Owen's tragic and avoidable death, I have worked tirelessly to disassociate Owen's name and likeness from anything related to WWE in order to protect our children from any reminder of the circumstances surrounding their father's death, and to avoid any misplaced perception that I endorse WWE," said Martha Hart in a statement.
"Unfortunately, even though WWE, Vince McMahon and Linda McMahon were and are well aware of my wishes and desire to shield my children from WWE and its activities, I was shocked to learn earlier this year that they have been using Owen's name and likeness in videos, websites, television programs and print materials. Given this callous, insensitive and irresponsible behavior, one must question the moral character of Vince and Linda McMahon and the manner in which they conduct their business."
The lawsuit aims forbid the WWE from further use of Owen Hart's name and likeness, and seeks unpaid royalties as well as damages for breach of contract. Meanwhile WWE has made an official statement to address Hart's lawsuit, claiming that "WWE has the right to use its own copyrighted material."
(Image courtesy of WWE)