Michael Waltrip Racing has filed a lawsuit against Mike Coughlan and the Williams Formula 1 team over the former's hiring as chief engineer, claiming breach of contract and interference from Williams.
Court documents of the suit filed in North Carolina seen by AUTOSPORT claim Coughlan, who worked at Michael Waltrip Racing as director of vehicle design from October 2010, had a contract with the NASCAR outfit until November 30, 2012 but informed the team he was terminating the deal in April, allegedly breaching his contract.
On June 14, Williams announced Coughlan was returning to F1 as its chief engineer, having been out of the sport since halfway though the 2007 season when he was a key player in the McLaren/Ferrari 'spygate' affair.
The suit also claims Williams interfered with Coughlan's agreement with MWR, harming the NASCAR outfit as a result.
"As a result of Coughlan's premature departure, MWR will face and incur many certain and substantial damages, including the costs of searching for, recruiting, negotiating with, hiring and training a replacement for Coughlan, not to mention the expenses MWR devoted to Coughlan's employment, the benefits of which will go unrealized," reads the suit.
MWR is seeking relief for damages for an unspecified amount, including legal fees.