There seems to be no end in sight for Vince McMahon’s legal troubles as he’s now the subject of another lawsuit that also includes Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Though the lawsuit between Vince McMahon and former XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck has been settled, McMahon is now one of the targets of a new XFL-related lawsuit being brought on by David Adrian Smith according to PWInsider. The lawsuit, which was filed on July 20th, also names WWE, ESPN, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Dick Ebersol, WWE Chief Financial Officer Frank Riddick, his wife Carol Riddick, and others.
According to the lawsuit, Smith alleges that on May 10th, 2016, he “disclosed confidential trade secret information” to Carol Riddick via email. The email is said to have included “market analysis, opportunity analysis, strategic analysis and other business information regarding a concept for a minor league or developmental league spring football league.”
Smith claims to have told Carol in his first email to her “Please feel free to share with Mr. Riddick but ya’ll keep it under your hats until we have a chance to discuss how to proceed or that it has not merit.”
The lawsuit claims that Smith’s “stated desire” was to discuss the original 2001 version of the XFL with Frank Riddick, see what Riddick had learned from that failed version, and discuss what they might do differently if another version of the league were to be launched. The lawsuit makes note of the fact that at this time in 2016, Frank Riddick was on the WWE Board of Directors and has since become Chief Financial Officer.
According to David Adrian Smith, there were a series of emails between himself and Carol Riddick where she asked him “several rounds of questions” and Smith replied with answers and “further analysis of the opportunity including further trade secret information.” Smith claims that communication between the two stopped after he received no response from either Frank Riddick or Vince McMahon “with feedback on what Defendant #1 [World Wrestling Entertainment] learned from their previous failed venture.”
Smith alleges that the Riddicks disclosed his trade secrets without his permission to another defendant in the case named Scott Jackson. According to Smith, Carol Riddick had mentioned Jackson in one of their emails.
Furthermore, Smith alleges that his information was given to Vince McMahon, who shared it with former NBC executive Dick Ebersol and his son Charlie. He also claims that ESPN used the “trade secret information” in their production of the 30 For 30 documentary This Was The XFL that aired in February of 2017, a year after the initial email exchanges between Smith and Carol Riddick.
According to the lawsuit, Smith alleges that WWE’s sale of the original XFL rights and trademarks to Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment was due to WWE Board members Vince McMahon and Frank Riddick having knowledge of Smith’s “trade secrets” and that Dick Ebersol launched the Alliance of American Football partly based on that knowledge as well. Smith noted that the proof of this knowledge is expected to be found when the lawsuit enters discovery.
Smith also alleges that when the XFL was purchased by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia following Alpha Entertainment’s declaration of bankruptcy, his trade secrets were “disclosed / conveyed to and acquired / received” to the new owners without Smith’s consent.
The 60 page lawsuit alleges 89 counts of misappropriation of trade secrets, 115 counts of theft of trade secrets, and 134 counts of RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act violations. Throughout the lawsuit, Smith never discloses the specific nature of his alleged trade secrets, and he’s included a motion to seal court records to prevent them from being restricted for access by the public.
Smith also noted that he “at this time refuses to disclose the evidence of communications” between himself and Carol Riddick, and that he’s petitioning the court to issue orders to prevent the defendants from disclosing the trade secrets.
In addition to other things, Smith requests a declaration that the defendants’ alleged actions are unlawful, an injunction to prevent either actual or threatened misappropriation of trade secrets, an injunction to prevent the defendants from engaging in unlawful acts, a court order declaring that any future use of his trade secrets results in royalty payments for him, an award of damages brought by the unjust enrichment of the defendants for the use of his trade secrets, damages from misappropriation of his trade secrets (estimated at over $15 million), court cost, pre- and post-interest adjusted for inflation, and anything else the court deems appropriate.
Per PWInsider’s report, court records don’t indicate that any of the lawsuit’s defendants have been served at this time.