(CN) – CM Punk became a huge star for World Wrestling Entertainment by speaking out against his bosses. Now the company doctor is saying Punk’s words have gone too far.
In a complaint Thursday against Phillip Brooks, who wrestled as CM Punk in WWE for nine years, Christopher Amann seeks punitive damages for defamation and false-light invasion of privacy.
The complaint in Cook County Court objects to comments Punk’s Nov. 26, 2014, podcast appearance on “The Art of Wrestling,” hosted by Scott Colton, Punk’s longtime friend and tag-team partner.
Colton, who wrestles as Colt Cabana, is named as a defendant to Amann’s lawsuit as well. In 2008 Colton briefly worked for the WWE as Scotty Goldman.
Punk allegedly complained on the podcast that Amann, the WWE’s senior ringside physician since 2010, misdiagnosed a growth on Punk’s back, allowing it to grow into a life-threatening staph infection.
The statements by Punk and Cabana, who wrestled together as The Second City Saints, portrayed Amann as “a medical doctor who placed his employer’s business interests above his patient’s medical needs,” according to the complaint.
Amann quotes statements from the wrestlers in the podcast.
“I have broken ribs and I have a fuckin’ concussion and they’re like, ‘here’s a Z-Pak, Phil,’ and I’m like fuck, okay, I take the Z-Pak, I can’t sleep, here’s another Z-Pak, I take the Z-Pak, I shit my pants in the ring,” Punk said.
“They gave me an even stronger antibiotic, and I’m like, all right, I’ll take this, maybe it’ll make me feel better. It made me feel worse. I had fuckin’ goddamn diarrhea for like three weeks,” he added.
Later in the podcast, Punk talked with Cabana about his effort to have a great performance at the 2014 Royal Rumble that would convince WWE chairman Vince McMahon to put Punk in the main event of WrestleMania XXX.
“That day, I showed Doc that thing on my back, which was now purple and the size of a fuckin’ baseball,” Punk said.
“It had teeth,” Cabana quipped.
Punk said Amann refused to remove the growth before the Rumble match.
“He won’t do it,” Punk said. “He just wouldn’t do it. I didn’t get it.”
Punk also claims in the podcast to have told Amann during the Rumble match that he had a concussion.
“He was like, ‘What do you want me to do?’ And I just started laughing and I was like, ‘Doctor, you are one of the most worthless piece(s) of shit I ever met,” Punk said, as quoted in the complaint.
Punk told Cabana in the podcast that he went to get a second opinion on the back growth from the doctor of his wife, who still wrestles for WWE as three-time Divas champion AJ Lee.
“And he looks right at it, he doesn’t touch it, he just looked at it, cocks his head sideways and goes, ‘that’s a full-blown staph infection,” Punk said, as quoted in the complaint.
“Full blown,” Cabana allegedly replied.
Punk said he asked his wife’s doctor why the Z-Pak antibiotic did not kill the staph infection.
“He is like, ‘Unless you’re on specific antibiotics to kill an MRSA infection, he’s like, a Z-Pak’s not going to do anything,” the wrestler is quoted as saying.
Punk also said he told the doctor he had been wrestling with the infection for three months.
“And he was like, ‘You should be dead. You could have died,’ because you know, look up staph infections, people; they’re nothing to fuck with,” Punk said, “So I get that taken care of. All of a sudden, I can sleep. And I slept, for a long fuckin’ time.”
In the complaint, Amann denies Punk sought treatment for a lump on his back.
Regarding the concussion, Amann says that he “followed proper protocol, including but not limited to attempting to remove him immediately from further contact activity and requesting further evaluation and treatment of Brooks in the training room.”
Amann complains that Punk’s comments racked up more than 1 million views on YouTube and received coverage from The Washington Post, Deadspin, Buzzfeed and The Sporting News, as well as on wrestling websites.
WWE came to Amann’s defense , stating that Punk did not discuss a baseball-sized lump on his back with its team of doctors and trainers.
The company also invited fans to watch this video from the Rumble, which includes slow-motion video, with the frame focusing on Punk’s lower back.
Punk and Cabana came up together through the Midwest independent leagues, winning the Ring of Honor tag-team title in their hometown of Chicago in 2004. Punk signed with WWE one year later.
Punk rose slowly through the WWE ranks, and his career caught fire with his “pipe-bomb” speech . He railed against the WWE hierarchy for failing to recognize his talent and for not putting his face on souvenir cups and ice cream bars.
Punk held the WWE championship for 434 days from late 2011 to early 2013, the longest championship reign in 25 years.
After quitting the WWE in early 2014, Punk made headlines near the end of the year by signing to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is in training for his first UFC fight.
Amann is represented by Phillip Zisook and Brian Saucier of the Chicago law firm of Deutsch, Levy & Engel.
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