A previous lawsuit regarding Vince McMahon and the XFL was reportedly settled, but now a new lawsuit has been filed regarding the XFL (via PWInsider), and it names Vince McMahon, WWE, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Dani Garcia, ESPN, Dick Ebersol, WWE Chief Financial Officer Frank Riddick, Carol Riddick, and more. The suit was filed on July 20th in the United States District Court for the North District of Texas, and it was filed by David Adrian Smith. As for why, Smith says that confidential trade secrets have been passed around and used by those named in the lawsuit, and he is seeking damages and court costs.
The lawsuit alleges that Smith “disclosed confidential trade secret information” through email to Carol Riddick, which 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 alleges that in his first email to Carol, he said “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.” Smith goes on to say that he had back and forth emails with Carol Riddick where she asked “several rounds of questions”, and Smith provided answers and “further analysis of the opportunity including further trade secret information.”
Smith then states that correspondence stopped after he received no responses from 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 the information and trade secrets, and then alleges that the information was brought to Vince McMahon and then shared with former NBC Executive Dick Ebersol, his son Charlie, and ESPN, and that information would be used in the production of ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary This Was The XFL.
Smith is also alleging that when WWE sold the rights of the original XFL to Alpha Entertainment, it was due to McMahon and Riddick being involved and knowing of Smith’s trade secrets, and he states Ebersol launched the AAF partly due to the knowledge. When Alpha Entreatment filed for bankruptcy and the XFL was bought by Dwayne Johnson, Dani Garcia, and the remaining owners of the XFL, Smith alleges those trade secrets were also disclosed to the new ownership without his permission.
Smith is seeking damages from the misappropriation of trade secrets, with figures estimated at over $15 million, as well as court costs, pre and post-judgement interest adjusted for inflation, and anything else the court feels is appropriate.