Lewmar insurers settle WWE claim out of court
By IBI Magazine
The insurers of Havant-based Lewmar Ltd have announced that they have decided to settle the case brought against Lewmar by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc (WWE) in Kansas USA.
The case was brought against Lewmar in January this year following the death of an American wrestler in 1999. Owen Hart, known as the Blue Blazer, was being lowered into the ring in Kansas City, Missouri, when a quick-release shackle opened, sending him 25 metres to his death. The organiser, World Wrestling Entertainment, agreed an US$18 million settlement with Mr Hart's family in 2000. The latest case was brought by the WWE in an attempt to recover some of that US$18m paid out to the family of Owen Hart.
A statement released by Lewmar today declares that the decision to settle was made independently by Lewmar's insurers on purely commercial grounds, and is in no way an admission of liability by Lewmar. The product used in the incident (triggerlatch shackle) was not used for the purpose for which it was designed but the product itself was not defective.
Arthur MacMillan Lewmar Group CEO commented, "We deeply regret that one of our products was associated with the death of Mr Owen Hart. We are however glad, as was acknowledged by Mr Hart's widow, that it was not caused by any defect in our product. While the final outcome was outside our control we are happy to see a line drawn under this unfortunate episode and return our focus to what we do best; serving our customers."
(28 October 2003)