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  August 7, 2000

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Hart documents sealed

  The Missouri Court of Appeal has ordered controversial documents in the wrongful death lawsuit of wrestler Owen Hart to be temporarily sealed.

Last week's ruling comes after World Wrestling Federation lawyers said the documents pointed to witness-tampering on behalf of the Missouri lawyers for Hart's widow, Martha, of Calgary.

WWF lawyers accused Martha's Kansas City lawyers, Gary and Anita Robb, of trying to buy favourable testimony from the Hart family in an allocation agreement that would see Hart's 10 siblings get a share of monetary damages from the lawsuit.

Now the court has ordered the documents sealed, Martha feels some vindication.

"My lawyers are of the utmost ethical standing here," she said.

Under Missouri law, nobody but the dead person's surviving parents, wife or children can be plaintiffs. WWF lawyers argued that because several of Hart's brothers and sisters could be key witnesses, they have no right to share in any money under Missouri's wrongful-death statute.

Martha's lawyer in Calgary said the allocation agreement was to make sure Hart's siblings would benefit if their parents, Stu and Helen, died before the lawsuit ended.

Hart died May 23, 1999, when he fell from a cable as he was being lowered into the ring at Kemper Arena in Kansas City.

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