Rene Goguen, better known to fans as former WWE Superstar Rene Dupree of the tag team La Resistance, has filed a class action lawsuit against WWE on behalf of himself and all similarly situated individuals who have not received contractually owed royalty payments from the WWE Network.
The lawsuit was filed yesterday in the state of Connecticut by Tooher Wocl & Leydon, LLC, and Goguen is looking in excess of $5 million exclusive of interest and costs.
Goguen argues that in his WWE booking contract, section 7.5 states that WWE is obligated to pay royalties for PPV videos sold by the company including for technology not yet created at time of the signing of the contract. “Thereafter, WWE shall pro-rate payment to Plaintiff and all other talent appearing in such WWE Pay-Per-Views in the same proportion as was the compensation paid to Plaintiff for his appearances in the pay-per-views to the total amount paid to all talent for their appearances in the pay-per-view,” the contract states.
The “technology not yet created” includes streaming videos on the WWE Network and WWE has not paid a cent in royalties since the Network inception on February 24, 2014.
The lawsuit also states that Netflix, a WWE licensee, has sold WWE videos of PPVs and non-PPVs without WWE paying royalties to the plaintiff. Netflix has not sold such pay-per-views and only WWE Studios movie occasionally appear on Netflix.
The lawsuit is asking for a trial by jury.