A settlement means we’ll never know the details
For nearly the entirety of 2019, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has been embroiled in a messy legal battle. Pitchford and former Gearbox attorney Wade Callender (who were childhood friends) sued and countersued each other. Pitchford alleged that Callender misappropriated company funds for personal use; Callender alleged Pitchford took $12 million in secretive bonuses from parent company Take-Two, and possessed a USB stick that contained “underage pornography.”
Everything has been resolved now, as the two sides reached a settlement without the need for a jury trial. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. As such, we’ll never get any closure as to exactly who was in the wrong. Pitchford could’ve settled for millions to shield himself from a big verdict going against him at trial. Callender could’ve settled for nothing more than assurance he wouldn’t end up as a defendant in a libel case. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but we’ll never know.
As is standard, the two sides filed a stipulated motion for the case to be dismissed. It’s a way of telling the court that the matter has been resolved and there’s no longer any need for judicial oversight. The parties filed an exhibit alongside the motion. It reads “Upon review of all the evidence in the case, it was of the opinion of counsel that the evidence exonerated Randy Pitchford from the allegations against him; all misunderstandings between the parties have been corrected, and apologies were exchanged.”
This is interesting because the court doesn’t especially care why a case was settled. The court only cares that its involvement isn’t needed anymore. The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure don’t seem to require any sort of explanation about the settlement for the court to grant a joint motion to dismiss. It very much appears as though this sort of character-clearing statement was a condition of the settlement — although, like everything else, that can’t actually be proven.
It didn’t end with the explosive tell-all jury trial that would’ve made for fascinating courtroom reporting. It ended with both parties walking away, and we’ll never know who feels vindicated and who feels wronged. We’ll never know who feels like they won. But life isn’t an episode of Law & Order. More often than not, parties end up settling because it eliminates the uncertainty of a trial. Then, they’re the only ones who are privy to the real details. The rest of us are left to speculate.
Agreed Motion for Dismissal with Prejudice [Dallas County, 162nd Judicial District]