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Poker News | World Poker News

Full Tilt Files Motion to Dismiss Gowen’s Claim

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Nearly two months after professional poker player Clonie Gowen filed a $40 million lawsuit against Tiltware LLC and Full Tilt Poker, the defendants have filed a motion in the United States District Court in Nevada to dismiss the complaint entirely. On the basis that the original suit allegedly failed to state a claim for relief, among other accusations, the harshly worded Tiltware motion hit back at Gowen’s “typhoon of litigation.”

The battle officially began on November 14th with Gowen’s lawsuit, in which she claimed they offered one percent ownership in Full Tilt Poker and Tiltware in exchange for representation of the company, and she held up her end of the verbal bargain for several years. But when other members of the Full Tilt Poker team were receiving distribution checks in 2007 for their ownership shares, Gowen received nothing. Discussions with partial owner Howard Lederer fell through, and Full Tilt notified her on November 11th that she would be officially dropped from Full Tilt. Three days later, she filed the suit that alleged the breach of contract was worth $40 million in damages. Her other allegations included, breach of fiduciary duties, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment from the use of her image and publicity, and fraud due to intentional misrepresentation.

Tiltware, LLC and other named defendants filed the motion to dismiss Gowen’s complaint on January 6th by the firm of Olson, Cannon, Gormley & Desruisseaux. It begins with some rather unforgiving statements: “Plaintiff, Cycalona Gowen, a self-described celebrity poker player, has launched a typhoon of litigation, particularly against 13 of her fellow professional poker players, claiming she was promised a 1% ownership interest in Tiltware, LLC and the Full Tilt Poker brand name and website. Ms. Gowen, may, or may not, be able to make a claim for breach of an oral contract, but she certainly does not have a shotgun claim for fraud against her thirteen fellow poker pros, or a “minority oppression,” or breach of fiduciary duty claim against the individual defendants.

“The court should dismiss Ms. Gowen’s complaint, or at the very least order her to significantly clean up her random claims against the multiple defendants. In particular, the Court, unless Ms. Gowen makes an offer of proof sufficient to satisfy this Court, should dismiss the thirteen individual defendants -- who she indiscriminately sued individually due to Ms. Gowen’s apparent litigation ‘strategy,’ their notoriety in the poker world, and Ms. Gowen’s thirst for publicity -- with prejudice.”

The motion asks that the breach of contract claim be dismissed because none of the defendants had an actual contract with her. Tiltware alleges that the contract was neither oral nor written but “made-up” and that her claim doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of due process.

Secondly, the motion requests that the breach of fiduciary duty be dismissed because, in short, there was no fiduciary relationship to begin with. The breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing should also be released, according to the motion, because it’s a commercial contract dispute and doesn’t have the tenets that make it a tort action. Tiltware claims that Gowen’s claim for relief of unjust enrichment because no agreement can be implied when there is already an alleged express agreement, as Gowen claimed there was one of an oral nature.

Finally, her claim for relief for fraud and intentional misrepresentation should be dismissed, by way of the motion, due to the alleged contract dispute, which supposedly nullified her fraud case in lieu of a breach of contract case.

And in every part of the motion, Tiltware notes that the thirteen individual defendants should be removed from the case altogether, and if Gowen chooses, she should file suits against them individually. The motion goes so far as to say that her claim that all of them are individual shareholders in Tiltware is erroneous.

The court has yet to render a decision on the Tiltware motion.

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