Owen Hart’s widow sues WWE…again

This news is a couple of days old, but here it is anyway.

Martha Hart, widow of the late, great Owen Hart is sueing the WWE.  Her argument, according to a press release, is that the WWE has been using Owen’s image and name in publicity and promotional videos without her direct consent, which she has made abundantly clear for over a decade now that they are not going to get.

Attorney for the WWE has responded that this is a frivolous lawsuit that has come up specifically because Linda McMahon is in a serious race for the Senate seat in Connecticut.  Without that campaign going on, he says, this lawsuit would not be happening.

I never thought I’d say this, but I am against Martha Hart in this argument.  I’m a regular viewer of WWE programming, and I can say with full confidence that the WWE does not use Owen Hart for publicity or promotion for any event.  His name was mentioned when Stu Hart was inducted into the Hall of Fame back in March and he might get a call out here and there when Bret Hart was regularly appearing on WWE programming.  But certainly nothing that can justify a lawsuit has taken place.  Doing such would likely remind fans that the WWE was culpable in Owen’s death.  Avoiding this is probably the entire reason Owen Hart has not yet been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

The main argument Martha has is the use of Owen’s name and footage in the recently released Hart Family DVD.  The WWE argues that they have the right to all WWE footage of Owen Hart in both the WWE as well as Stampede Wrestling (which they own the video library of).  As much as it sucks for Martha, the WWE does have that right.  Her lawsuit did not give her the right to all of Owen’s past footage.

Owen Hart, you likely recall, was killed in a tragic accident at WWE’s Over the Edge PPV in May of 1999 when he was performing a stunt in which he was to be lowered by cable from the rafters of the arena into the ring.  His safety harness was somehow released and he fell the entire way to the ring.  He shortly died of his injuries.  Martha Hart filed a wrongful death suit against the WWE which was settled out of court.

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