Former UFC Light heavyweight champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, has reason to celebrate some recent victories outside of the Octagon.
Mike Chiappetta of FanHouse has reported that the majority of a $10 million breach of contract case brought by White Chocolate Management (“WCM”) against Rampage and his former manager Juanito Ibarra has been dismissed with prejudice.
WCM brought the action on December 27, 2007 and alleged a “bad faith” breach of contract stemming from a non-exclusive deal entered into by the parties in September 2006. WCM contends that as of February 2007, Rampage and Ibarra rejected all of the business opportunities presented to them by WCM and covertly disparaged the management company.
New York Supreme Court Judge Barbara Kapnick dismissed seven causes of action against Rampage in a decision dated December 14, 2009, including tortuous interference, trade disparagement, prima facie tort, defamation and breach of covenant in good faith and fair dealing. Those dismissals were with “Prejudice” and consequently cannot be filed again. However, Judge Kapnick left the door open for continued legal action on the following causes: 1) breach of contract, and 2) aiding and abetting tortuous acts against WCM.
Judge Kapnick allowed room to revisit the breach of contract claim based on WCM’s contention that during the recent discovery portion of trial it was revealed that Rampage “accepted deals based on the same or similar terms initially proposed by plaintiffs for which plaintiffs received no compensation.” The Judge gave WCM’s legal counsel 30 days to provide documentation to support this allegation or otherwise this cause would also be dismissed.
WCM’s counsel, Robert Hantman of the New York based firm Hantman & Associates, remained confident in his case despite the ruling. “The gist of our case was against Juanito Ibarra and his company, and Judge Kapnick’s decision leaves the claims against him intact,” he explained to MMA Fighting. “As to Rampage, we intend to file an amended complaint on the breach of contract and aiding and abetting counts and go the distance as neither WCM or our firm will submit.”
In addition to this victory, Rampage also concluded another legal matter relating to the July 2008 incident in which he was involved in a high-speed car chase. For this offense, Jackson completed over 200 hours of community service and was sentenced to three years probation.
With these legal matters largely in the former champion’s rear view mirror, he can once again focus on his upcoming role as “B.A. Baracus” in the film adaptation of “The A-Team” as well as the possibility of returning to the Octagon to face his nemesis and fellow coach from The Ultimate Fighter 10, Rashad Evans.