Full Tilt Responds to Clonie Gowan Lawsuit
Full Tilt Poker has made their first official response to the lawsuit brought against them by former employee Clonie Gowan. Her suit was brought in November 2008 after lengthy discussions between both sides failed to reach an agreement. Gowan felt that she was owed money as a part owner of Tiltware, the company that provides the software for Full Tilt Poker. The lack of a written contract coupled with Full Tilt’s refusal to pay her for wearing their merchandise, has raised the matter into a full fledged court room battle. Full Tilt’s lawyers have filed a motion this week asking that the case be dismissed.
Gowan claims that in 2004 she was offered 1% ownership of Tiltware with the agreement that she act as a celebrity representative for Full Tilt Poker. She was then seen on the circuit wearing Full Tilt merchandise at both live and televised events. In May 2007, the members of “Team Full Tilt” received checks as payment for their sponsorship efforts, all members except Clonie Gowan that is. She then entered into negotiations with the company and continued to wear their apparel. She continued to work without pay until November 2008 when she was told that Full Tilt would be dropping her from the roster of pros. She then decided to take legal action against the company.
Her suit claims that there was a breach of contract, which she expects damages of $40 million, a breach of fiduciary duties, a breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment and fraud/intentional misrepresentation. She included several companies in her lawsuit as well as naming 13 of her fellow Full Tilt pros who she claims are also part owners of Tiltware, including: Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Erick Lindgren, Jennifer Harman, Mike Matusow and Patrick Antonius.
Full Tilt’s motion for dismissal which was issued on Monday, challenges every claim made in Gowan’s suit, pointing out the vagueness and lack of evidence of her claims. The lawyers also went to great pains to relieve the 13 pros of any responsibility, saying that the dispute was between a company and an individual. The motion even went so far as to claim that the suit against her colleagues was a tactical decision on Clonie Gowan’s part to gain publicity for the law suit.
With the exception of breach of contract, Full Tilt lawyers argued that each claim was a misunderstanding of the law on the part of Clonie Gowan’s as well as her lawyers. They also argued that each point lacked evidence and clarity. They did however argue that the claim of breach of contract may be viable but that Gowan would be required to submit more detailed arguments for the case to reach court. It is still unknown when a decision will be made in regards to the motion for dismissal.