As noted, the libel & slander trial with WWE’s Dr. Chris Amann vs. CM Punk & Colt Cabana was delayed on Monday. The civil case was scheduled on the docket for Tuesday in Cook County, Illinois but it was believed then that additional delays were possible. PWInsider now reports that jury selection began on Thursday as attorneys for both sides were in court.
We noted before that Amann’s lawyers were delaying things as of the middle of this week but that jury selection was expected to begin soon. The other reason for the delay earlier in the week was a new judge being assigned to the case. In addition to the $1 million in compensatory damages that Amann is seeking, he’s also asking for an undetermined amount of punitive damages for the comments Punk made about him during an appearance on Colt’s “Art of Wrestling” podcast shortly after his WWE release in 2014.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported on Wednesday that Punk’s attorneys have been very strong in wanting the case to go to trial, even though Punk is the most at-risk for a jury verdict. Amann would be forced to pay legal fees if Punk wins but that might mean nothing as it’s believed that WWE is paying his costs. Punk accused WWE Chairman Vince McMahon of “bankrolling” the lawsuit during a 2016 interview. A loss for Punk would be much worse for him while a win for Punk would be a big moral victory with some vindication. One source close to the case noted to The Observer that “the defense (Punk’s team) has worked long and hard on building a case for trial. Anything is possible but the defense is ready and prepared for a jury trial.”
In regards to a possible settlement between the two sides, PWInsider says there have been zero settlement talks and that the case will come down to who the jury believes. No word yet on when jury selection will be completed or when the trial will begin but we will keep you updated.