Following on from the news early last week that TNA Impact Wrestling had filed a lawsuit against their former employee Brian Wittenstein and the WWE, after it was alleged that Wittenstein had been leaking TNA Wrestling contractual information to the WWE during his time there, a report from Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com notes that in a 37-page lawsuit filing by TNA Wrestling, Wittenstein signed a severance agreement with the company back in August 2011 where he agreed to a severance package in exchange for him returning any company materials and not disclosing confidential information regarding to the company to any new employers.
TNA Wrestling stated that Wittenstein allegedly downloaded and took TNA’s confidential, trade secret and proprietary information after leaving his role with the company and that in his position as TNA Wrestling’s Talent Relations Coordinator, he had access to TNA Wrestling’s computer network and proprietary information, however stated that they are uncertain of the full breadth of his actions, but believe that he took documents including copies of TNA Wrestling’s policies and procedures, a spreadsheet containing the terms of TNA Wrestling’s contracts with its prospective, present and past wrestling talent, a spreadsheet containing confidential information regarding activity, payment and royalties for TNA Wrestling talents, a draft contract between the company and one of its wrestlers, an executed contract between the company and one of its wrestlers as well as a draft promotional agreement between the company and a licensee.
The lawsuit filed, according to Johnson notes that TNA Wrestling allowed Wittenstein to work for the WWE or any other company, as long as he did not use the company’s material or information, however Wittenstein sent a memo to the WWE detailing the contractual status of several TNA Wrestling superstars and that one part of the lawsuit is that Wittenstein provided the WWE with important material relating to their current roster and that the WWE are now aware of their wrestlers contractual details and could potentially make moves to sign certain talent away from their deals. It is reported that Wittenstein’s supervisor turned the material over to WWE’s legal department, which resulted in Wittenstein being terminated by the company in April, however TNA Wrestling didn’t become aware of the situation until May 7th when WWE’s Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs Scott Amann contacted TNA Wrestling’s General Counsel Creede Williams, informing TNA Wrestling that Brian Wittenstein had divulged TNA Wrestling information to the WWE without the WWE’s solicitation of the information and that they had terminated Wittenstein from his contract with the company, due to the breach of that confidential information, however TNA’s claim is that WWE were in possession of the material before informing them for potentially three weeks.
The lawsuit, according to Johnson notes that TNA Wrestling has reason to believe that the WWE used the information to solicit or induce several TNA Wrestling talent to end their contractual deals with TNA Wrestling and that on May 9th, Ric Flair, who is under contract to the company, attempted to terminate his conteact with the company and that he had made statements that led them to believe that he has plans to join the WWE, which makes his statements and WWE’s admission highly suspect and that Flair is in breach of contract by not showing for events, including the TNA Sacrifice pay-per-view event and that TNA Wrestling have requested two hour depositions with Ric Flair, John Laurinaitis and Paul Levesque (Triple H). TNA Wrestling have also put up a $30,000 bond to prevent Brian Wittenstein and the WWE from using, damaging or copying any confidential material that they may have in their possession and that all materials should be returned prior to June 11th, when a hearing on the case takes place in Nashville, Tennessee.