WWE Wants Lawsuit Moved From Municipal To Federal Court
Last month, Samantha Tavel, known in wrestling circles as Samantha Cartwright’s multi-million dollar lawsuit against Matt Riddle, Gabe Sapolsky, EVOLVE, and WWE.
WWE is now seeking the lawsuit move from municipal to federal court..
HeelByNature.com has obtained court documents, filed on 11/17 which include consent forms from Matt Riddle, Gabe Sapolsky, and WWN owner Salem Hamaoui. WWE required consent from all defendants in order to move the case to a federal level.
Moving the case from municipal to federal court can benefit to defendants. According to Law.com, moving a case to federal court provides “a potentially greater chance of winning a motion to dismiss or summary judgment motion, and a more structured discovery format under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”
According to filings, Tavel’s lawsuit against WWE, Riddle, EVOLVE, and Gabe Sapolsky “asserts one count against each of the Defendants, including WWE, for violation of the Illinois Gender Violence Act,”
On 10/8, Tavel filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court, she held a news conference that same day in Chicago.
WWE reached out to HeelByNature.com that evening, advising they were not served with any lawsuit, but would defend themselves if that did happen.
“WWE has not been served with a lawsuit by Ms. Tavel. However, if served, we will vigorously defend ourselves and contest it.”
On 10/26, WWE was officially served a summons by Tavel’s legal counsel, which resulted in the company seeking to move the case to federal court.
Tavel is suing each defendant for $10 million dollar for actual damages, damages from emotional distress, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.
The lawsuit alleges Riddle began sexually assaulting Tavel in April 2017.She claims the assault occurred in a parking lot following an EVOLVE show.She says Riddle bragged about the incident to former EVOLVE owner Gabe Sapolsky.She also alleges Riddle forced her to engage in oral sex in May 2018 on a bus with other EVOLVE talent present.
The lawsuit alleges Tavel had bookings with EVOLVE and WWE in January 2020, and prior to that Riddle forced her to perform sexual acts, or she would lose her bookings. She claims Riddle informed WWE and EVOLVE that he did not want her working with either companies, and she was told “issues with talent” was the reason why she was not booked.
David Bixenspan of Babyface v. Heel obtained an email reportedly sent to Tavel from Drake Wuertz, who serves as a referee and extra talent booker for WWE.
The email informs Tavel two bookings would be canceled due to “past issues” he wasn’t aware of with “one of our talent that would not make for an ideal work environment”.
The full complaint, including the consent to move to federal court can be viewed below. (Warning: contains information about sexual assault)