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   September 02, 2014



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Devon Nicholson wins lawsuit
By TONY SPEARS - Ottawa Sun




A wrestler stricken with Hepatitis C by a fellow ring man who slashed him with a dirty blade in a bout won a $2.3-million settlement Tuesday.

Devon Nicholson, who wrestled under the name Hannibal, was on the cusp of breaking into the elite world of World Wrestling Entertainment when he tested positive for the virus in 2008 and 2009.

Evidence revealed he’d been infected in May 2007 in a match with Lawrence Shreve, better known as Abdullah the Butcher, who was a notorious “juicer” or “blader” — a wrestler who would cut his face in the ring to draw blood.

But in the Cochrane, Alta. match, Shreve sliced himself and then immediately after cut Nicholson in violation of the the unwritten rules of their taxing profession.

Nicholson hadn’t even noticed the cut — only in 2009, when the tape of the match was examined in slow motion, did he realize what Shreve had done.

“The practice of blading was one you never engaged in, nor condoned,” Judge Giovanna Toscano Roccamo said in her decision.

“You have never injected any drugs. You have never had a piercing or a tattoo. You have never been an organ recipient.”

“You at no time engaged in any act that would give rise to a risk of infection with Hepatitis C.”

In that fateful 2007 match with Shreve, Nicholson was to act the villain — but in real life it was Shreve who played the heel.

He did not take part in the uncontested trial and refused to obey court orders to disclose his medical records.

“Only Mr. Shreve can account for why he once attorned to this court’s jurisdiction, and then later failed to abide by court orders to produce information vital to this lawsuit,” Toscano Roccamo said.

The judge awarded the bulk of the damages to Nicholson to compensate for loss of income.

“No amount of money will restore the wrestling career that lay within your reach in 2009,” Toscano Roccamo told Nicholson.

RELATED LINKS

  • Hannibal / Devon Nicholson story archive