Call it a legal smackdown.
Hulk Hogan has slapped the Tampa, Fla.-based Laser Spine Institute with a malpractice suit alleging the clinic performed "unnecessary" surgeries on his back that subsequently ended his career in the ring.
In the complaint that he filed under his real name, Terry Bollea, in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court and a copy of which was obtained by E! News, Hogan is seeking a $50 million in damages for what he described as "negligent conduct" on the part of LSI.
"Bollea...missed out on multiple millions of dollars in opportunities to earn income within his profession due to disability because defendants continued to cause him to needlessly suffer severe back pain, peg pain, and other related symptoms," court papers state.
A statement issued by his attorneys, Will Florin and Eric Czelusta, said Hogan originally consulted with "numerous prominent spine surgeons" who urged him to undergo a traditional spinal operation.
However, Hogan opted to go with the Spine Institute, which he claims recommended instead numerous "minimally invasive" laser procedures that only offered temporary relief for the pain he was suffering from scoliosis and bulging discs in his back. According to his complaint, endoscopic procedures he underwent between February 2009 and August 2010 not only failed to fix the problem, but aggravated it.
"The surgical treatment provided by Defendants did not provide relief to Bollea's symptoms and resulted in a continuing worsening in his overall condition," adds the suit. "Not withstanding, its treatment being unnecessary and ineffective, Laser Spine billed Bollea and his health insurer multiple six figure sums for these medically unneeded procedures."
The Laser Spine Institute issued a statement confirming the suit has been filed, but declining to discuss the details of the allegations, citing privacy laws and pending litigation.
"Laser Spine Institute cares about its patients and their outcomes, and is proud to have helped thousands of patients achieve a better quality of life by delivering optimal surgical outcomes. Patient privacy is of upmost importance to Laser Spine Institute," said the clinic.
—Additional Reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum