The former head of PlayUp’s US division has refuted claims from her previous employer that she destroyed evidence related to the lawsuit the Australian-based company filed against. Instead, lawyers for Dr. Laila Mintas said it was the company that likely revoked her access to more than 17,000 emails she said she could access during a deposition last month.
And, if anyone has explaining do, Mintas’ attorneys said it was PlayUp. On Thursday, they responded to a motion PlayUp filed two weeks ago in a Nevada federal district court seeking sanctions against Mintas and wanting to bar her from referencing the emails as part of her case.
In the 24-page response, the lawyers derided the company’s attempts to make Mintas retake a deposition and pay for the legal fees associated with the request as a way to harass their client and try to “destroy” her reputation through news coverage – particularly through claims she committed “corporate espionage.”
The response claims that “it appears likely” PlayUp took down Mintas’ account from its Microsoft 365 license.
PlayUp Inc. should be required to explain what it has done with all of Mintas’ emails on the email server within its control and its property,” attorneys Jennifer Braster and Meredith Markwell wrote. “From day one, Mintas has sought these emails from PlayUp Inc., and it has refused to produce them.”
In addition, rather than having Mintas pay PlayUp’s attorneys, Mintas’ lawyers said it should be the other way around for having to respond to their accusations.
“PlayUp Inc. should also be forced to produce those emails, which they have been trying to avoid from the beginning of discovery,” the response states.
Both Sides Suing Each Other
PlayUp and Mintas have been embroiled in what’s become a bitter legal battle that started after the company decided not to renew her contract. On the day the contract ended, Nov. 30, PlayUp filed its lawsuit against Mintas, claiming she denigrated the company to the CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that had considered acquiring the company.
PlayUp also said Mintas sought to remove Daniel Simic and take over his position as the company’s global CEO.
In response, Mintas filed a countersuit against the company in January, describing herself as a “whistleblower” who was targeted after she declined to participate in a counterproposal to FTX’s $450 million offer. The counteroffer asked for $105 million more, she said, to purchase a separate company and provide retention bonuses for key PlayUp individuals. She also accused the company of withholding details about the FTX discussions.
PlayUp Considering Business Options
As the lawsuits continue, so too does PlayUp’s consideration of its future. Earlier this month, the company announced that it was “working through” the process of getting GLI certification, and certification would allow it to launch its proprietary gaming platform in the US.
Company leaders also announced Innovation Capital had been brought on as a financial advisor to help the company conduct a strategic review. PlayUp executives are considering several “strategic alternatives” for the future of the company. Those options include forging strategic partnerships or selling the company.
In the US, PlayUp is licensed to offer sports betting in New Jersey and Colorado. It also has 11 market-access agreements in eight states for either sports betting or iGaming.
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