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Ex-wrestlers, including Snuka, sue WWE over head injuries

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HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 5: (L-R) Former professional wrestlers Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat and "Rowdy Roddy Piper look on as Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka steps into the ring to battle WWE Superstar Chris Jericho during WrestleMania 25 at Reliant Stadium on April 5, 2009 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bill Olive/Getty Images)

HARTFORD — More than 50 ex-wrestlers say in a Connecticut lawsuit that World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is responsible for their long-term neurological damage and failed to care for their injuries.

Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff are among the plaintiffs who filed suit Monday in federal court in Connecticut against Stamford-based WWE.

WWE denies the allegations. It says that an attorney for the ex-wrestlers previously has made false claims against the company and filed lawsuits that ended up being dismissed.

The plaintiffs say they suffered concussions and other head trauma that resulted in long-term brain damage.

Snuka is charged in the 1983 death of his girlfriend near Allentown, Pennsylvania. He has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial, and his defense partly blames head trauma suffered in the ring.

In April, it was announced that wrestler Chyna, who was found dead at age 45, had left her brain to research for CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that can be caused by concussions.