Former XFL Commissioner Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Against Vince McMahon Update

As noted before, the XFL announced last month that they were shutting down and filing for bankruptcy due to severe financial issues caused by the coronavirus. Among those affected was the former commissioner of the league, Oliver Luck, who later filed a lawsuit against Vince McMahon over claims of wrongful termination.

Sports Business Journal reported that in a pre-trial court filing by McMahon’s legal team, Luck’s firing was stated to be due to “gross neglect” committed by Luck during his time with the league.

Specifically, three main issues were stated to have been the reasons for his firing:

* Luck left the XFL’s Connecticut HQ for his home in Indiana on March 13 and “disengage[d] from the XFL’s operations,” according to the filing. McMahon further claims Luck did not inform him of his intentions. “Put simply, at the very moment when his leadership as CEO was needed most, Luck did not devote substantially all of his business time to the XFL, as required by his contract.”

* Luck signed Callaway, a former Browns WR, to a draft contract promising a $125,000 signing bonus without informing McMahon, even though he was aware that McMahon asked for final approval rights to any player with a questionable background. The filing continues on that “Luck failed to promptly terminate Callaway in accordance with McMahon’s instructions,” and then Callaway injured his knee in a Tampa Bay Vipers practice, which triggered medical costs and worker’s compensation costs for the startup. “The cost to the XFL of this episode of gross negligence was in excess of six figures,” McMahon’s filing reads.

* Luck used his league-issued iPhone for personal matters.

In regards to allegations of Luck disengaging from league operations, Luck recently stated that he has text messages to prove he was still engaged in league activities until its end. In regards to allegations of Luck using his league-issued iPhone for personal reasons, this issue arose after Luck’s legal consul asked for clarification by the XFL’s bankruptcy counsel on league policy for its status following his firing and the league declaring bankruptcy.

McMahon’s filing did state that Luck was signed to a personally guaranteed contract regardless what happened with the league itself. This contract was for five years in length and worth $5 million per year with a $2 million signing bonus.

In response, Luck has recently requested for the court to issue him an immediate “prejudgment remedy” of $23.8 million against Vince McMahon, an attachment or garnishment of McMahon’s assets, and a legal order requiring McMahon to “disclose his assets sufficient to satisfy the remedy.”

Additional sources: The Athletic’s Daniel Wallach, Sports Agent Blog’s Darren Heitner