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By Mike Johnson on 2018-05-29 18:55:00

The Dr. Chris Amann vs. CM Punk and Colt Cabana civil trial began this morning at Cook County Court in Chicago with Amann testifying on his behalf.  We were told that Amann came off "short and curt" in his testimony. Amann also discussed the surge of comments about him online criticizing him, based on the comments made on the podcast.  We are told that at one point, Amann seemed like getting upset while recounting the situation as tweets and internet stories about him were read to him.

The jury also heard the entire Art of Wrestling podcast that Cabana released in November 2014 featuring Punk telling his side of the story of his 2014 exit from World Wrestling Entertainment.

Amann is scheduled to be cross-examined tomorrow by Punk and Cabana's attorneys when the trial will continue.

Amann filed his lawsuit in February 2015 over comments made by Punk during a November 2014 Art of Wrestling podcast episode hosted by Cabana.  During the podcast, Punk broke his post-WWE silence for the first time, discussing his time in the company and the issues that led to his departure, including health issues he had dealt with during and after his WWE run.

Punk stated that a lump on his back was diagnosed as a fat deposit and despite several requests, was not cut out. Punk later learned (after he left WWE in January 2014) that the lump was actually a MRSA staph infection.  Punk stated that a doctor he had never met before immediately diagnosed it and cut the infection out in what Punk described as "the most painful experience" in his life.   If you want to refresh yourself with our complete podcast report from November 2014, you can click here.  

In the lawsuit, Amann alleged that his reputation has suffered as a result of the former WWE star turned UFC figthter's comments. Amann has alleged that everything Punk claimed about his medical care under Amann while working for WWE was false and that the statements "repeatedly and falsely impugned the integrity" of Amann. 

Amann also claiimed he "was not requested by Brooks to treat and/or excise a lump, let alone a purple, baseball-sized lump."   Amann claims the comments made by Punk and Cabana on the Art of Wrestling podcast, "are highly offensive in that they accuse [him] of a gross lack of integrity as a medical doctor, an inability to perform his professional duties as a medical doctor, and in placing the financial interest of his employer above life-threatening health conditions of his patients."

Cabana was included in the lawsuit, for allegedly "helping Brooks [Punk] falsely depict" Amann.

Punk has made it clear he felt the lawsuit was filed as part of a collaboration with WWE in revenge against him for the podcast, where Punk spoke out against the company several months after the two sides came to a settlement in regard to his departure, the rights to the CM Punk name, Punk's appearance in the WWE 2K videogame and the remainder of Punk-related merchandise that WWE and their licensees had produced.

Punk had walked out of WWE in January 2014.  Vince McMahon later claimed during a stockholders' conference call that Punk was on a "sabbatical."  Punk claimed in the lawsuit that he was later told he was suspended, and that no one ever reached out to him until he was called by Triple H.  Punk told him he would be happy to talk to him when he returned from his honeymoon.  On his wedding day to then-WWE performer April "AJ Lee" Mendez, WWE had a termination letter sent to Punk's home, something that Vince McMahon later apologized for while being interviewed by Steve Austin on the WWE Network.

In an August 2015 filing, it was noted, "Brooks is informed and believes that the Plaintiff collaborated, coordinated and conspired with the WWE in bad faith to prepare, bring and pursue this lawsuit in retaliation against Brooks and ['Colt Cabana' Scott] Colton for the embarrassment that the Podcast caused the WWE through and as a result of Brooks' candid and truthful discussion of various of his experiences as a WWE wrestler, despite the fact that the Plaintiff knows full well that the statements about which he complains are true and/or substantially true.  Further, Books is informed and believes that the Plaintiff cooperated with the WWE in the preparation and improper release of the alleged results of a supposed investigation concerning Brooks' confidential and private medical information on the day after the Plaintiff filed this Complaint, which purported to support certain allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint and to dispute and contest certain statements made by Brooks in the course of the Podcast.  Upon information and belief, Plaintiff cooperated and conspired with the WWE to prepare and coordinate the preparation of the supposed investigation report who's supposed results were released to the public and published widely very shortly after the Plaintiff filed his Complaint."

At the time, WWE issued the following statement to when asked about that allegation: "Phil Brooks' latest claim that WWE directed Dr. Amann to file a lawsuit against Brooks is categorically false. Dr. Amann made the decision to file suit in order to protect his professional reputation. WWE conducted its own investigation into this matter and found no evidence of wrongdoing by Dr. Amann, and thus continues to support Dr. Amann and the staff that runs our world-class medical program."

WWE did release video of CM Punk on their website, pointing out that there was no lump as Punk alleged  Punk later showed off the scar from the procedure where he had the lump removed (and the MRSA staph infection treated) during an interview with Opie & Anthony for SiriusXM radio.  The scar sat exactly where Punk would have worn his wrestling tights.

Amann is seeking more than $1 million in compensatory damages, as well as an undetermined amount of punitive damages.


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