LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) — A federal court hearing was held Tuesday in the lawsuit Papa John's founder John Schnatter has filed against the company's former ad agency, and confidentiality took center stage.
WAVE 3 News reports Schnatter claims 247 Group breached a contract by allegedly leaking a recording of the 2018 conference call, which ultimately led to Schnatter's dismissal from the company he founded.
The pizza chain is not directly involved in the lawsuit but says it wants a blanket confidentiality agreement before handing over subpoenaed documents.
247 says it can’t agree to issue a confidentiality agreement without knowing what’s in the documents.
Since his dismissal, Schnatter has given interviews containing information the company claims has false allegations, which could lead to damaging Papa John's.
Schnatter released a comment on the lawsuit Tuesday evening:
"Papa John’s has dragged its feet for months trying to prevent the court from seeing 13,000 documents subpoenaed by Wasserman Media as a part of our litigation. The most troubling thing about it is that this continues a consistent pattern of cover-up by the company since the false attacks against me in 2018.
In 2019, Papa John’s lost a 220 ruling in a Delaware court, but produced a sparse number of relevant documents following that court order, and now they’re fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent disclosures that may reveal the truth about who did what to try to damage me and the company brand.
Why would Papa John’s try so hard to hide these documents from public view? Could it be that they’re hiding something about their possible role in the set-up by our former ad firm, Wasserman Media company ‘Laundry Service,’ when my comments against racism were secretly taped and their meaning was reversed and leaked to the media.
With all the revelations in our litigation, the actions by Laundry Service and Papa John’s won’t stand the light of day. We have the tape which fully exonerates me, and with further revelations, we will know the full truth about Papa John’s likely role in this injustice that hurt so many people, including our franchisees and employees."
WAVE 3 News reports that a judge has suggested both sides work out an agreement, saying documents would be solely used for the court case.