Indiana boy sues pro wrestlers for injuries suffered decade ago

INDIANAPOLIS Thu Jan 6, 2011 3:53pm EST

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INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Ten years after a seven-year-old boy was injured when two professional wrestlers took their match outside the ring, the boy on Thursday filed suit against the wrestling federation and the two fighters.

Ronald Basham III, now 18, of Clarksville, Indiana, was injured during a match on May 21, 2000 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, said attorney Harris Berman.

When former wrestler Dwayne Johnson, known as "The Rock" and wrestler Paul Levesque, known as "Triple H" took their fight outside the ring, Basham, then 7, was injured, Berman said.

"(World Wrestling Entertainment) didn't even pay for the ambulance that took the boy from the arena to the hospital," Berman said.

The suit alleges WWE didn't stage the match properly or provide proper security. Both wrestlers are accused of "reckless, willful and wanton conduct."

The boy's family contacted WWE "off and on" over the years over Basham's continued knee and leg pain but the company "never made a reasonable offer," Berman said.

The attorney said the family has racked up $37,000 in medical bills stemming from the injury. The latest challenge involved surgery for a dislocated patella that left the teenager with a permanent partial disability.

After years of thinking the boy would grow out of it, Berman said the family filed suit Monday. Because of Basham's age when the injury happened, Berman said the suit was not covered by the statute of limitations.

The suit alleges WWE didn't stage the match properly or provide proper security. Both wrestlers named are accused of "reckless, willful and wanton conduct."

A representative of the WWE could not be reached for comment.

(Writing by Susan Guyett, Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)

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