Hart family to sue WWF
By CAMERON MAXWELL -- Toronto Sun
The Hart family is expected to launch a multi-million-dollar lawsuit
against the World Wrestling Federation over the death of Owen Hart.
Having retained civil litigation and personal injury lawyers in Calgary and
Kansas City, Mo., Martha, Bret (Hitman), Stu and Helen Hart are going to
Kansas City this weekend, said one of their Calgary lawyers.
"There will be a worldwide press conference on Tuesday in Kansas City,"
said Pamela Fischer of Pipella and Co., one of four lawyers acting on behalf
of the family members.
The lawsuit will be in the multi-million-dollar range, confirmed a
wrestling community source.
An impending lawsuit is news to WWF owner and chairman Vince McMahon.
"I don't know anything about it," he said yesterday, refusing to comment
further about a lawsuit or Owen's widow Martha, who recently blasted the WWF
boss for airing funeral footage on a wrestling show. "I'm not going to engage
Martha -- it's such a sensitive subject."
Meanwhile, investigators in Kansas City are conducting a criminal
investigation into the tragic death of the popular Calgary-based wrestler,
which could bring a charge of involuntary manslaughter due to recklessness
under Missouri law.
Hart, 34, died May 23 when he fell nine storeys from a cable as he was
being lowered into the wrestling ring during a planned stunt.
"I have some concerns that the material was the right stuff to use to lower
a (large) man," said Maj. Gregory Mills of the Kansas City police department.
Mills, who met with Martha and Bret last week, said the harness used to
lower Hart had only one release mechanism. "We have to answer if that was
enough," he said.
In order to lay charges, Mills said investigators must provide enough
evidence to prosecutors and that evidence must point to one person.
"We also need to find out who decided to use that equipment and why," said
Mills, who found the harness had not been tampered with in any way and said
his team is not yet focusing on one particular suspect.
A crime lab in Kansas City determined Hart fell at a speed of 80 km/h and
the impact on a turnbuckle ruptured Hart's aorta, causing him to bleed