Monday, January 25, 2010
Lawsuit against WWE settled before trial
The lawsuit Jody Hamilton brought against WWE was settled out of court for an undisclosed fee, according to Hamilton's attorney out of Atlanta.
Hamilton, 72, who was a wrestler in the 60s, 70s and 80s as The Assassin, reopened his Deep South Wrestling promotion in 2005 as an affiliate of WWE, to train talents signed to developmental contracts. In 2007, WWE abruptly ended their contract with Hamilton and DSW with no notice. In April 2009, Hamilton sued for breach of contract and intentional interference with contractual and business relations. His attorney claimed that, WWE "fraudulently contrived a reason to end the agreement" without giving 90-days notice as laid out in the contract between Hamilton, DSW, and WWE.
A key-paragraph in the suit read: "WWE unlawfully entered the premises occupied by Hamilton and DSW and removed property that belonged to DSW and Hamilton. Contemporaneously with its clandestine operation to dismantle DSW's operation and cripple its ability to operate at all, John Laurentis [sic], WWE's VP of Promotions and a member of the Board of Directors [Laurinaitis is actually WWE EVP of Talent Relations], assembled all the independent contractor wrestlers who were committed to DSW's upcoming events and issued an ominous warning. He cautioned them that, 'if they ever set foot in this building again or had anything to do with Hamilton or DSW their relationship with WWE would end and they would never work again in the wrestling industry.'" Apparently there were two former WWE talents willing to come forward and testify that Laurinaitis gave that speech. WWE were unsuccessful in a motion to dismiss so settled with Hamilton before the case went to trial.