Ric Flair will be taking questions from TNA's lawyers next month. Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.
Last week, TNA filed a lawsuit against WWE for interference with existing contracts, after they were informed that their former office employee Brian Wittenstein had given WWE confidential information about their company while working for the opposition earlier this year, which came shortly before Ric Flair quit TNA in order to attempt to rejoin WWE. On the surface that seemed like coincidental timing, given that Flair had been frustrated with TNA since early 2011 and it was well known that WWE wanted him back into their fold before the launch of the WWE Network. But maybe TNA has a bit of a case after all, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com who now has had the chance to read the legal filing in full.
Though WWE's Vice President of Legal/Business Affairs Scott Amann claims that the insider information they received was unsolicited, Wittenstein suggested otherwise:
In their filing, TNA noted that they contacted Wittenstein, who admitted the disclosure of the information and "represented to TNA that he did so at the request of WWE." TNA believes that WWE "solicited and/or inducted" Wittenstein to provide them with TNA's confidential information and has "unclean hands" in the matter.
However, unless there is a paper trail proving this, it will be Wittenstein's word against WWE's, which will make it easy for WWE to portray him as merely a disgruntled ex employee with an ax to grind. So this charge will still be very difficult for TNA to pin down on WWE.
That's why TNA wants a two hour deposition with Ric Flair, John Laurinaitis and Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, so they can get to the bottom of what WWE's negotiations with Flair have entailed while still working for TNA. But those three are all too canny to say anything much that would aid TNA in their case against WWE.
Other information of note from the lawsuit that hadn't previously come to light include:
- In violation of his severance agreement, TNA allege that Wittenstein gave WWE copies of TNA's policies and procedures, draft and executed contracts with TNA's talent and licensees, and spreadsheets containing personal, contractual and royalty information about all their prospective, present and past wrestling talent and staff. They have an email that prove Wittenstein at least gave WWE a summary of all this information.
- Despite Alex Shelly and Matt Morgan being unsettled by WWE overtures, no other talent is specifically named in the lawsuit by TNA as being contractually interfered with by WWE.
- TNA claim that "money damages cannot adequately compensate TNA, even if Defendants could respond by paying money damage", that they were "damaged in an amount in excess of the court's minimal jurisdictional limits" and that the defendants conduct "entitles TNA to an award of exemplary damages in an amount in excess of this Court's minimal jurisdictional limit".