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Doink the Clown’s family files wrongful death claim

Lawsuit alleges WWE failed to protect wrestler’s health

In 2013, the professional wrestling world was shocked to learn that Doink The Clown (a wrestling character played by Matt Osborne) died due to an accidental drug overdose. Osborne’s family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), alleging Doink’s struggles with addiction came as the result of repeated head trauma suffered while on the job.

The suit filed on behalf of Osborne by his wife and children claims WWE and its president, Vince McMahon, turned a blind eye to the physical punishment Osborne endured over the course of his career. While WWE created a Wellness Program to support wrestlers suffering from long-term injuries, Osborne’s family claims the program only provided false hope. The lawsuit claims negligence on the part of WWE for failing to properly address the toll concussions were taking on Osborne.

In addition to his drug addiction problems, Osborne’s family claims the concussions caused him to suffer mood swings and serious bouts of crippling depression. The complaint was filed in federal court in Dallas, Texas, just a few miles from the apartment where Osborne overdosed on a combination of morphine and hydrocodone.

Osborne began his career with WWE in 1985 after spending years riding regional pro wrestling circuits across the country. In 1999, WWE sent Osborne to rehab at the company’s expense, yet tragically he continued to battle addiction. Osborne was 55 years old when he died and was survived by his wife and two sons.

The Cochran Firm, D.C. is not representing any of the parties involved in this case, but our firm regularly represents families of injury victims in wrongful death lawsuits. If you lost a family member due to someone else’s negligence, contact The Cochran Firm, D.C. for a free legal consultation about your case.


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