Colt Cabana’s lawsuit filed against former friend CM Punk was dismissed by Judge Daniel Kubasiak of the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois last month, according to PWInsider.
The dismissal led to Cabana filing a second lawsuit against Punk.
As noted, Cabana sued Punk back in August and alleged unpaid legal fees along with breach of contract over the lawsuit that was filed against them by WWE’s Dr. Chris Amann. That lawsuit, over Punk’s comments about Amann on Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast in 2014, was won by Cabana and Punk. Cabana claimed that Punk told him not to respond when Amann’s lawyers issued a cease & desist letter related to the podcast back in late 2014. Cabana also claimed that Punk sent him a text message that mentioned his legal bills would be covered. Cabana was suing Punk for $1 million in damages plus $200,000 in general damages, also the cost of his legal fees during the case against Amann.
Punk’s lawyers responded to Cabana’s suit on October 25 and argued the following:
“”At the outset, Plaintiffs Response inappropriately references allegations as “uncontested” facts, not simply in brazen mischaracterization of the record, but also apparent regard to the substantive questions of law which are the subject of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. Then, building on the shaky foundation of these presumed “facts,” Plaintiff doubles down on the very arguments that demonstrate the deficient pleadings contained throughout the Complaint: first, that Defendant’s text messages to Plaintiff regarding the status of and potential response to a demand letter constituted an to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees in a protracted litigation for defamation; second, that as consideration, in return for Defendant “offering” to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, Plaintiff’ would not remove his own podcast episode for which Plaintiff, and not the Defendant, makes money; and finally, that defendant’s conduct rose to the level of fraud based on the fact that he later stopped paying for Plaintiff’s legal fees.”
The court sided with Punk’s lawyers on November 26, ruling that Cabana, in his original lawsuit, “failed to allege that Brooks provided an offer that was definite and certain enough to support an enforceable contract.” The court also ruled that Cabana had not alleged that the two parties agreed Cabana would not comply with Amann’s cease & desist as consideration for Punk to pay his legal fees. The court agreed that Cabana failed to allege Punk’s “knowledge and intent in making alleged misrepresentations” about paying Cabana’s legal fees. The court also ruled that Cabana did not allege that Punk’s “representations were part of a scheme to defraud.” The court also noted that nothing Cabana brought to them was a contract that could be enforced by law, so there were no damages he could sue Punk for.
The court’s dismissal was done without prejudice, which allowed Cabana to re-file the suit and once again try to sue Punk for damages. Cabana re-filed 10 days later and submitted a new 14-page filing. The original filing was 15 pages. Cabana is now alleging that Punk made statements on the podcast knowing that WWE would probably come after him legally. Cabana is also now claiming that he agreed to assist Punk in the legal battle with Amann in exchange for Punk covering his legal bill, and as a part of that agreement, he agreed not to cooperate with any demands made by Amann. Cabana claims he did not cooperate with Amann, which led to the lawsuit filed against he and Punk.
Cabana’s new suit claims Punk paid all legal bills through late April 2016. Cabana adds that he received an email from Punk in April 2016 regarding a legal bill Punk had received from his lawyers. Punk allegedly wrote in that email, “To date I have spent $513,736 dollars on this Amman lawsuit. My outstanding bill is at least 300K. Half of all this is yours. Divide the 513,736 by 2 that is what you owe me and what I expect you to pay me. Starting now, I will no longer be paying your bills. You are on your own. Whatever my bill is currently, will be cut in half and half will be yours. If you choose to make this all ugly, that’s fine too. I hope you won’t, but I gave up on you doing what is right a long time ago.”
Cabana is also claiming that he was forced to hire his own lawyers after using Punk’s team until March 2017, claiming Punk caused the lawyers to withdraw as Cabana’s attorney. After the win in court over Amann, Cabana’s lawyers approached Punk to seek payment of $200,000, which was the cost of Cabana’s legal fees after he split from Punk’s lawyers. Punk turned that overture down, which led to Cabana’s breach of contract claim. Cabana also said he believes that if he would have just complied with Amann’s cease & desist, he never would have been a defendant and never would have suffered any legal costs over the defense of the lawsuit, which cost him personally more than the $200,000.
Cabana is now seeking at least $200,000 from Punk and is seeking a jury trial. Punk must respond to the new lawsuit by December 28. There will be a conference on January 4, 2019 to see where the case stands.
One lawyer who follows pro wrestling estimated that Punk’s own legal bill for the Amann lawsuit is likely in the high-six figure or low-seven figure range, based no the amount of time and work that went into the case.