Newsday- Gymnast Thema Williams’ lawyers are seeking to strike out the defence filed by the TT Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) on the ground of material non-disclosure.
They have taken objection of the TTGF’s failure to obey a court order to provide telephone records of the communication between the federation and its choice for the Rio Olympic games in 2016, Marissa Dick, and her mother relating to Dick’s travel from Canada to Rio.
The court order was given by Justice Frank Seepersad, who is presiding over Williams’ lawsuit. He said the federation was given ample opportunity to comply.
Williams’ lead counsel Martin Daly, SC, also informed the judge that a letter had been sent to the federation outlining the breaches.
In response, lawyers for the federation, in court, said that certain documents would be provided.
A trial date was not set, and the matter will return for a pre-trial review on March 6.
Williams is seeking $11.38 million compensation for what she says is the federation’s “harsh and oppressive” actions against her which shattered her dream of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic games.
Her lawsuit complains of “loss of opportunity” and damage to her personal and professional reputation allegedly caused by the actions of the Federation’s executive. She further contends that by failing to be given an opportunity to qualify for the games, she suffered a huge loss of opportunity of endorsements, motivational speaking engagements, business opportunities and a full scholarship to the Michigan State University, which she gave up in her bid to represent TT at the event.
Williams claimed her coach, John Geddert, was informed by the federation that she was withdrawn because she was injured, a claim which she denies.
Williams, by virtue of her higher score at the World Championships in Glasgow, was given the nod over Marisa Dick to compete at the Olympic Test event – Aquece Final Gymnastics Qualifier – in April 2016.
She and her coach John Geddert were in the South American country preparaing for the Olympic qualifier when the TTGF decided to replace her with alternate Marisa instead.
Alternate athlete Dick was flown in from Canada and eventually qualified to become the first person to represent TT in gymnastics at the Olympics. Williams’ legal team includes Martin Daly, SC and Keith Scotland. The TTGF is represented by attorney Justin Junkere.