Oliver Luck officially doing a Vince McMahon stand.
At a time when McMahon’s WWE status is in question over allegations of misconduct, he will no longer have to waste time defending himself against a lawsuit filed by the former head of his twice-flopped football league. Via Ben Fischer Sports Business Journalformer XFL commissioner and McMahon settled Luck’s wrongful termination lawsuit for $24 million.
The settlement was mentioned in a Friday filing from Luck’s attorney, in which Luck requested an order permanently sealing the records of the case. I don’t know the timing yet, and most likely never will be. As a general rule, civil lawsuit settlements such as this include a broad confidentiality clause. These agreements often include a liquidated damages clause allowing the paying party to seek full redress for the alleged harm caused by the chatter.
The trial was supposed to begin on Monday, July 11. The settlement followed a short settlement conference last week, so short that it looked like there would be no settlement at all.
A case based on Luck’s alleged breach of contract to be XFL 2.0 commissioner was reduced to one potential defense. McMahon’s position hinged on proof that Luck was fired because he allowed the league to sign former NFL wide receiver Antonio Callaway, against McMahon’s insistence that the league avoid players with certain off-field problems. The fact that Luck’s firing came two months after Callaway signed and just a day before the pandemic forced the league to shut down dramatically weakens that argument.
In the end, Luck accepted a payment supposedly less than 100 cents on the dollar to eliminate the risk of McMahon catching lightning in the lawyer’s bottle. It also stops the delay in the payment of money, giving Luck confidence and immediacy. Appeals could drag out the case for years. (However, legal interest before judgment can often be better than any investment around.)
It is a pity that luck did not get all this. It seems pretty clear that McMahon, once he knew the XFL was over, wanted to cut his losses, even if it meant coming up with a seemingly lame defense to justify refusing to pay what was owed. The fact that McMahon threw a host of other defenses at the wall in the hope that one of them would stick around makes it more likely that McMahon simply didn’t want to honor the contract and that he ordered his lawyers to do whatever they could to keep him. from having to pay.
If McMahon ends up paying less than the full amount owed to Luck, it’s a win. Unless, of course, the legal costs added to the settlement sum raise the whole thing above what it would be worth to just pay Luck without a fight.