Two Lawsuits Filed Against Lucha Underground

Lucha Underground is currently involved in two lawsuits regarding allegations of illegal contract terms, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet and Fightful.

Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin reported that El Hijo del Fantasma (King Cuerno in LU) recently filed a lawsuit against the El Rey Network and Baba-G Productions, production company of LU, alleging both companies have been violating California labor laws.

Fantasma alleges that Lucha Underground contracts do not provide a living wage due to being worth less than $4,000 per year and the illegal restrictions enforced by LU on his ability to work has cost him thousands of dollars of lost earnings. Fantasma is currently seeking both punitive and monetary damages against both El Rey Network and Baba-G Productions.

Portion of Fantasma’s official lawsuit:

Plaintiff brings this action seeking to invalidate illegal provisions of a contract between himself and Defendants. Defendants is enforcing contracts with Plaintiff which are illusory, in that they require Plaintiffs to stop engaging in their lawful trade, while Defendants have no obligation to provide work to Plaintiffs, and only have an obligation to pay Plaintiffs if they are provided work on their show. This contract also violations California Business and Professions code 16600 and California public policy as they restrain Plaintiffs from working in their lawful profession.

Portion of the official statement by Fantasma’s lawyer Andre Verdun:

By contrast, Lucha Underground broadcasts between 22 and 40 television episodes per year, with no live events like the other described wrestling promotions. If a wrestler appears on a show, it is usually just a couple. The payment per episode is usually less than $1,000.

The current contract that wrestlers signed with Lucha Underground require that wrestlers not perform services for other wrestling companies anywhere in the world without Defendants permission, but does not require Defendants to use Plaintiffs in their wrestling-theme television show.

While Plaintiffs are obligated to restrict their trade under the contract (which is illegal), Defendants are not required to use or pay Plaintiffs. Defendants have the option to use Plaintiffs, and IF Defendants use Plaintiffs, Defendants will pay Plaintiffs. IF Defendants chose not to use Plaintiffs, Plaintiffs are prohibited for working for years, are not paid, but still under the restrictive contract until it expires.

Most wrestlers under a Lucha Underground contract make less than $4,000 a year. Wrestlers working for other wrestling promotions make a living wage, usually starting around $50,000 a year and entering either 6 or 7 figures.

Besides Fantasma’s lawsuit, several of Lucha Underground’s talent have also recently filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, according to Fightful.com

Fightful’s Jeremy Lambert reported that this lawsuit also revolves around allegations of Lucha Underground contracts containing illegal terms that violate California labor laws. It was reported that Ivelisse Velez, Joey Ryan, Thunder Rosa (Kobra Moon in LU), and Fantasma are among the plaintiffs for this separate lawsuit.

Official statement by lawyer Andre Verdun:

“There is actually another lawsuit my office filed as a class action to invalidate certain portions of their contracts that we believe are illegal. There are several wrestlers that have signed onto that lawsuit, others that have reached out requesting to join, so that lawsuit actually seeks to do what it I saw reported that Fantasma‚Äôs lawsuit is attempting to accomplish.”

Sources: Pro Wrestling Sheet, Fightful.com