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Michael Waltrip Racing has filed a lawsuit against Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd and Mike Coughlan.
The lawsuit follows Coughlan's recruitment as the Grove outfit's chief engineer last month, the Englishman having been banned from the sport since mid-2007 for his involvement in the infamous Spygate saga.
Following his banning from F1, Coughlan helped develop the Ocelot light protected patrol vehicle, designed to protect British forces in transit. He joined Waltrip in October 2010, allegedly on a two year contract. However, it is claimed he subsequently informed the NASCAR outfit that he was terminating the contract after just six months.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina/Charlotte Division, alleges that Coughlan breached his employment agreement and that Williams interfered with the agreement by negotiating to hire Coughlan while he was still under contract to Waltrip.
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