In an oddly meta legal move, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter has filed a lawsuit against his own pizza chain, claiming that the company failed to provide a sufficient response to a previous request for internal documents related to their decision to have him ousted earlier this month.
Shortly after Forbes published a report alleging that Schnatter used the N-word during a media training conference call in May, he stepped down as chairman of the board of Papa John’s International. It was a decision that he later admits to regretting.
In light of the report of his use of the racial epithet, a special committee of independent directors for Papa John’s International ordered to have Schnatter’s agreement terminated, in addition to requesting that he no longer makes any media appearances on behalf of the company. The pizza chain’s founder claims that he requested information regarding how they reached their decision to have him booted from the company, and board members have refused to provide him with the appropriate documents.
“Mr. Schnatter’s attorneys are seeking to inspect Company documents because of the unexplained and heavy-handed way in which the Company has treated him since the publication of a story that falsely accused him of using a racial slur,” Schnatter’s legal team said in a statement, per Huffington Post.
A Papa John’s spokesperson responded to the suit in a statement of their own. “We are saddened and disappointed that John Schnatter has filed a needless and wasteful lawsuit in an attempt to distract from his own words and actions. We are providing Mr. Schnatter all of the materials he is entitled to as a director.”
Despite getting canned by Papa John’s, Schnatter is still on the board, and owns 29 percent of the company. According to the Los Angeles Times, Schnatter is solely interested in reviving the pizza chain amid declining sales and not coming back on as CEO. Some could say that their financial struggles is a byproduct of the negative publicity brought upon by Schnatter.