The following is an update on the lawsuit made by former Total Nonstop Action Wrestling , World Championship Wrestling and Ring of Honor performer Shannon “Daffney” Spruill who in March 2011 filed a Workers Compensation suit as she alleged to have been working in an unsafe working environment.
Despite it not being widespread information, tomorrow could develop as a huge day in the history of professional wrestling if TNA and Daffney can’t come to an agreement out of court, compensating for the injuries she sustained while working and the reason for her becoming a part-time worker.
Thanks to Hustle of LordsofPain.net for the following information:
It has been around nine months since we had any update on Daffney‘s Workers’ Compensation claim against TNA, but Ringbelles has secured some information on the situation, and it could potentially lead to one of the biggest shake-ups in wrestling history. It could cause ripple effects not just through TNA, but also to WWE.
It was always telling that Daffney (Shannon Spruill) filed a Workers’ Comp lawsuit instead of a personal injury one, which could have been another avenue for her to be compensated for concussions which she suffered on TNA shows and effectively ended her in-ring career. The reason for that is because she wants to test the claim that wrestlers are “independent contractors”, which means that they are responsible for their own medical insurance and do not enjoy the same sort of protection and benefits that a regular employee would – similar to the lawsuit that Raven, Mike Sanders and Chris Kanyon filed against WWE back in 2008 – but was dismissed, partly because their claims were barred by statute of limitations.
TNA is to mediate with Spruill tomorrow – if a settlement is not reached, the case will go to court, when it will then be up to a judge to see if wrestlers under a contract, booked to appear at places on certain dates, be told to execute a planned outcome and not have the freedom to accept booking elsewhere are truly “independent contractors” or if they should be classified as employees. Rather than just looking to satisfy her medical bills which have left her out of pocket, Spruill’s case could create a legal judgement which means all wrestlers in places like WWE and TNA could legally have to become staff.
To make a long story short for those of you who like news to be direct, if TNA Entertainment doesn’t settle outside of court with Shannon Spruill otherwise known to wrestling fans as Daffney, the matter will go to court and could change professional wrestling and the way injuries/medical issues are dealt with forever.
If the court finds in favor of Daffney a ruling could be made forcing top companies such as WWE, TNA and Ring of Honor alongside every other company with contracted performers to no longer view them as independent contractors as they are now and instead as staff, meaning they’d have to deal with large tax bills and increase in expenditure due to other benefits and insurance.
For TNA themselves if they don’t reach a settlement with Daffney it could see a lot of the company’s “dirty laundry” aired in public to the court. This revolves around a series of events in-which Daffney was requested to put her body in serious jeoprady, which saw her be placed through tables and barbed wire at TNA officials request, placing her in physical harm.
If this dispute is not dealt with out of court, tomorrow could be a massive day for professional wrestling as a whole.