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  June 17, 1999



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Calgary Sun Editorial: A fight for what's right


It's fitting that the lawsuit filed by Martha Hart and her family against the World Wrestling Federation and Vince McMahon over the death of Owen Hart has no dollar value attached to it.
  Missouri law prohibits the naming of a dollar amount in civil lawsuits, so officially the Hart family is suing for "fair and reasonable" compensation for the loss of a husband, son and father.
  Undoubtedly, if the Harts win their case, they'll get lots of money. But this case isn't about money.
  No amount of money will bring Owen back. Ten million won't buy Owen and Martha's two children a father. Nor will $100 million. Or $500 million.
  This case is about cleaning up the increasingly sleazy world of professional wrestling.
  Owen Hart died because someone in the WWF thought it was necessary to have him descend from the ceiling of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City on the night of May 23 in his Blue Blazer costume.
  The Harts' lawsuit might end up being part of a legal tag team against the WWF.
  The Kansas City police are conducting a criminal investigation into the accident to see if appropriate safety measures were taken in doing the stunt.
  Based on what we know, Owen was wearing a harness with a single quick-release button in which less than three kg of "pull tension" could trigger the release mechanism.
  Somehow the harness tragically released while Hart was dangling 25 metres over the ring. Some versions suggest Hart was fiddling with his Blue Blazer cape immediately before he fell, which may have triggered the quick release.
  Martha Hart said her hope is that Owen's death will not be in vain. "For the sake of our children, my wish is that Owen's death will serve as a vehicle to vastly improve the safety in this industry," she said. "There was absolutely no reason for this to have happened. It was so unnecessary and so senseless." She's absolutely right.
  From a pro wrestling point of view, this is a no-holds-barred battle to the finish. The big difference is this time out, the WWF isn't writing the script and doesn't know the outcome in advance.
  We're rooting for the Harts all the way.

Letters to the Calgary Sun editor should be sent to callet@sunpub.com.

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