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DAFFNEY LAWSUIT AGAINST TNA OVER: COMPLETE DETAILS ON WHAT LED TO SETTLEMENT

By Mike Johnson on 2013-03-10 11:47:20
The lawsuit brought by former TNA star Shannon "Daffney" Spruill against TNA stemming from payment of medical bills for injuries occurred during her run with the company was settled Friday morning during a mediation session scheduled just prior to the two sides going to court for a hearing.

Sources indicate that the hearing would have seen the presiding judge rule over whether a portion of the case that saw Spruill alleging that she was an employee, not an independent contract (as TNA had claimed) would be separated from the rest of the lawsuit and seen as a different case altogether. Once that hearing was set, TNA approached Spruill's side about mediating a settlement.

TNA executives Dean Broadhead and Steven Small had been deposed in the lawsuit and Dixie Carter was scheduled to be deposed on 4/3.

With the out of court settlement, the case is now finished and the independent contractor vs. employee issue will not be heard in court.

Spruill's lawsuit was based around her injuries at the Bound for Glory 2009 PPV, which according to the documents exceeded over $26,000. In the lawsuit, Spruill alleged that TNA made a $600 payment on the bill. When Spruill received a letter requesting payment for the balance, she alleged Terry Taylor told her that the company would pay the remainder. TNA did not, leading to Spruill receiving several more demands for payment. Spruill also claimed that one letter stated that TNA had declined to pay the balance, citing her as an "independent contractor", despite what she had been told by Taylor. Taylor is no longer with TNA.

The lawsuit also alleged that TNA's Texas attorney (Texas is where their parent company is based) had advised the company to delay payment in an attempt to eventually settle the debt for a smaller amount. Spruill's side claimed to have proof of this via emails forwarded by Taylor to Spruill. As a result of this, and the Texas TNA attorney negotiating a smaller payment with the medical provider, Spruill's side had the attorney named as a witness in the case and had him deposed as well

The lawsuit alleged that TNA did eventually settle the claim in the amount of $8,000 but not before Spruill had to deal with being called by creditors and receiving additional material demanding payment for over a year. The company also made a $9,556.00 payment made for medical treatment needed after Spruill was injured at an April 2010 Impact taping in Orlando, FL against Rosie Lottalove.

Spruill, who had remained mostly silent on the lawsuit, commented this morning on the settlement, writing on Twitter:

"I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the love and support over the past two years. I appreciate so much that you recognize the HUGE injustice that is being done to Professional Wrestlers throughout the industry. I hope my case has opened up a few blind eyes and maybe now we, the wrestlers who put our bodies on the line every time we step in the ring, are one step closer to being provided with medical coverage and all the benefits that go along with being a true employee and not an independent contractor."