Report Highlights: WWE Issues Response to TNA’s Lawsuit

Nick Paglino

PWInsider.com has released details behind WWE's in-depth response to TNA's lawsuit against the company, and the following are highlights from the response:

-WWE's statement stated they had fired Brian Wittenstein on 4/27 after they became aware of Wittenstein providing WWE's John Laurinaitis with a CD and print out of confidential TNA information. Wittenstein claimed he obtained the information while working for TNA.

-Laurinaitis then informed WWE's in-house legal department after being given the information. WWE then said Wittenstein was let go specifically due to their concerns that he had "improperly obtained information" from his time as an employeee with TNA. WWE said Laurinaitis didn't copy or keep the information.

-WWE stated that Wittenstein was advised he was being let go and took back his company-issued laptop and Blackberry. Searches by WWE's IT department showed no evidence that copies of the TNA material were still on Wittenstein's computer or Blackberry after WWE took back possession of the material.

-WWE stated that searches of their email server and in-house servers showed no proof that Wittenstein had emailed out the material to anyone else working for WWE. 27 employees working in WWE's talent relationship and creative writing departments were searched.

-In TNA's lawsuit against WWE, the company claimed WWE had waited several weeks before contacting them. WWE has a different story. In the filing yesterday, WWE stated that Wittenstein was let go on 4/27 and "on or around" 5/3, WWE's General Councel called TNA's Director of Talent Relations Bruce Prichard to inform him of the situation. Prichard then referred WWE to TNA's General Counsel, Crede Williams.

-WWE claimed messages were left several times for Williams between 5/4 and 5/7 before he returned the calls. Williams asked WWE to send the material to him. WWE complied via Express Mail on 5/8 and TNA received the material on 5/9. TNA then filed the lawsuit on 5/23.

-WWE noted in the filing that TNA had a "lack of basis for believing WWE has any of their material" after a search revealed that none of the TNA material was on any company servers. WWE also added that it would not be appropriate for TNA to be able to search the company's server due to concerns for WWE intellectual property landing in the hands of TNA employees.

-Searches of John Laurinaitis' email server account revealed zero evidence that he had the material still in possession according to WWE.

-WWE added that due to the size of their six large servers, it would not be physically possible to transport them to Nashville to be examined.

The planned 6/11 hearing has been continued indefinitely to allow both sides to work on scheduling the discovery process of the lawsuit.

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