Kentuckiana teen talks about lawsuit naming WWE's biggest stars

Ronnie Basham
Ronnie Basham
Harris Berman
Harris Berman
Lisa Lanham
Lisa Lanham

By Connie Leonard - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's a story being talked about around the country - two of the biggest names from World Wrestling Entertainment are being sued by a Kentuckiana teenager. For the first time, that teen is talking to WAVE 3 News about what he claims happened to him at a WWE event more than a decade ago here in Louisville.

Ronnie Basham is now a senior at Clarksville High School, but 11 years ago, he was just 7 years old when his parents granted his wish to go to Freedom Hall to see his favorite wrestlers battle it out. Now, they wish they had just watched it on pay-per-view.

It was May 2000 and one of pro wrestling's biggest events had come to Freedom Hall: "Judgment Day."

"It was supposed to be a special match between two of the top wrestling stars," said Basham's Attorney Harris Berman.

Paul Levesque, better known as "Triple H", vs. Dwayne Johnson, that's "The Rock", Ronnie's idol at the time.

"I was very, very excited," Basham remembered, "I begged my mom to get tickets."

Ronnie's parents got great seats just a few rows back from the wrestling stage. But the fun came to a halt when the match left the ring. The wrestlers went over a crowd barrier and people started pushing back.

"After The Rock got into it with one of the spectators, bodies were just coming towards me," Basham told WAVE.

Ronnie's mom, Lisa Lanham, says someone shoved a woman on top of her young son who was standing on a chair.

"I was trying to stay calm myself for him, but I just couldn't believe it happened," she told us.

Berman continued with what the family says happened next.

"He (Basham) fell down and his legs were caught between the two chairs and the lady then fell on him and crushed his right knee," Berman said. "It really resulted as an assault on a 7-year-old kid."

Mother and son say the injury only got worse. They claim as the years went by the boy played baseball and football, but couldn't compete with his teammates.

They tell us medical bills piled on for treatments and surgeries. Berman, who says he has  represented the family ever since the injury, said they had no plans to sue until the WWE refused to pay for anything, including the boy's ride in the ambulance to the hospital.

We asked Basham if he thought suing the WWE was the right thing to do.

"Yeah for the pain and taking away a kid's childhood, because that's the best part of anyone's life is their childhood," he said.

The entertainment website TMZ has photos of Ronnie Basham in a stock car and a recent article questioned if it's possible that's how he was injured. His attorney tells us, there's no proof of that.

Although the alleged injury happened a decade ago, the Statute of Limitations in Kentucky extends for minors to age 18. The suit seeks compensation and a jury trial. But a lawsuit is only one side of the story.

A WWE spokeswoman tells WAVE 3 News of the suit, "We take all these matters very seriously, but cannot comment on pending litigation."

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