– Colt Cabana has filed a lawsuit against CM Punk over the legal fees from the defamation lawsuit that they won earlier this year. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Cabana filed the suit on Tuesday in Cook County, Illinois circuit court alleging breach of contract and fraud.
According to Cabana’s lawsuit, the text of which you can see below, Punk agreed to help Cabana out with the legal fees in fighting the defamation suit filed by WWE doctor Chris Amann over claims made by Punk on Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast. Cabana says that Punk told him that he would be “100% covered” in a text message. Based on that, the two of them retained legal representation for which Punk would be responsible. However, Punk suddenly demanded in April of 2016 that Cabana pay for half of the costs, emailing Cabana and saying:
“To date I have $513,376 in legal bills. My outstanding current bill is at least 300k. Half of all this is yours. Divide the $513,376 by 2 and 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 then notified their joint representation that he would be retaining his own counsel as a result of the demand. The firm initially agreed, then a month later said that “despite your unwillingness to contribute to your legal fees, I am still prepared to represent you, and [Punk] is prepared to have me represent you and cover your legal fees going forward…” This lasted until the firm withdrew as Cabana’s counsel on March 10th, 2017 which Cabana says he has reason to believe Punk instigated. Cabana then retained his own counsel.
After the lawsuit came out in their favor, Cabana’s counsel notified Punk’s counsel that Cabana wanted reimbursement for the cost of about $200,000 in legal fees incurred by needing to get counsel on his own. Punk refuses to pay it. He is suing for $200,000 in general damages and $1 million in punitive and exemplary damages, arguing that Punk “acted with fraud, malice and oppression toward [Cabana], with the deliberate intention of causing Colton harm.