WWE Files Motion To Compel Arbitration In Janel Grant Lawsuit

WWE has filed its motion to compel arbitration.

WWE has followed Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis in filing a motion to compel arbitration in the case brought forward by Janel Grant.

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On January 25, a lawsuit was filed by Janel Grant against Vince McMahon, WWE and former executive John Laurinaitis. The lawsuit accuses McMahon of sex trafficking, emotional abuse, and sexual assault.

McMahon filed a motion to compel arbitration on April 23 and argued, "Plaintiff and Defendant (collectively, the “Parties”) engaged in a consensual relationship during which Defendant never coerced Plaintiff into doing anything and never mistreated her in any way." The filing argued that the Plaintiff violated agreement of the parties, which led to the Defendant withholding payments.

Laurinaitis joined McMahon in filing a motion to compel arbitration on May 2.

From the document:

Plaintiff Janel Grant brings this action against Vincent K. McMahon, John Laurinaitis, and WWE alleging that, while employed at WWE, she was subjected to physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, and sex trafficking by McMahon and Laurinaitis. WWE disputes Grant’s allegations. But, as a threshold matter, this dispute cannot be heard in court because Grant agreed to arbitrate her claims. WWE therefore moves to compel this action to arbitration. Simply put, Grant has no claims actionable in this Court because the separation and non-disclosure agreement she signed with McMahon and WWE (the “Agreement”)—the monetary benefits of which she concededly accepted and retaine contains an arbitration provision that unambiguously precludes this Court from adjudicating her claims. In particular, Grant agreed that “the sole and exclusive legal method to resolve any and all disputes and/or controversies is to commence binding arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act.” The language is clear and unconditional. Not only are Grant’s allegations squarely within the scope of the arbitration provision, but the Agreement also expressly commits to arbitration the issue of arbitrability itself. Accordingly, this Court should enforce the parties’ agreed-upon method of addressing Grant’s claims and compel this action to arbitration.

WWE disputes Grant’s allegations. But for purposes of this Motion only, we assume the truth of facts alleged in the Complaint. The Complaint also incorporates by reference and attaches the Agreement, dated January 28, 2022, between Grant, McMahon, and WWE. See Compl., Ex. A, No. 3:24-cv-00090-JAM, ECF No. 1-1.

Mutual Releases. The parties to the Agreement, including WWE, provided mutual releases of any and all potential claims related to Grant’s and McMahon’s relationship and Grant’s employment at WWE.

SUMF ¶ 15. Grant’s release language reads:
Except for any rights under this Agreement, and as otherwise stated herein, Grant hereby agrees to release, remise and forever discharge, and by these presents does, for herself, her heirs, executors, and administrators, release, remise and forever discharge McMahon, WWE, and the present, former and future directors, officers, employees, agents and representatives of WWE personally and as directors, officers, employees, agents and representatives of WWE from all manner of action and actions, causes of action, sums of money, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, damages, claims and demands whatsoever, in law or in equity, that she ever had, may have had, now has or that her heirs, executors or administrators can, shall or may have as a result of, or in connection with her employment relationship with WWE, the termination of that employment relationship, and/or any and all matters involved in her relationship with McMahon and/or other WWE personnel, and whether known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, suspected or unsuspected which she may have as a result of any act which has occurred at any time up to and including the date of her execution of this Agreement.

This action should be compelled to arbitration. The Agreement—which Grant concededly negotiated, signed, and accepted the benefits of—contains a clear and unambiguous arbitration provision. That provision requires not only that all claims Grant asserts here be decided in arbitration, but also that the threshold question of the arbitrability of those claims be decided by an arbitrator. The Court should grant WWE’s motion to compel arbitration and order that the claims proceed to arbitration, as the parties intended and as the Agreement requires.

Readers can find the full court document by clicking here.

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