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Judge Allows $100 Million Lawsuit against Lance Armstrong to Peddle Forward
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Summary: A federal judge has blocked the dismissal of a $100 million lawsuit against Lance Armstrong. 

Lance Armstrong may face another defeat. A federal judge has allowed the government’s $100 million fraud lawsuit against him to move to trial, according to The Associated Press.

  
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The case against the athlete centers around his performance-enhancing drug use that stripped him of seven Tour De France cycling titles. In 2010, Armstrong’s teammate Floyd Landis filed a lawsuit against Armstrong, stating that he had cheated the government by accepting sponsorship money from the U.S. Postal Service while knowingly doing drugs to win. The government joined Landis as a plaintiff in 2013.

From 1999-2005, Armstrong won the Tour de France competitions, and he was given numerous high-profile endorsement deals, including the one from the Postal Service. However, the once-beloved cyclist fell from grace after he was accused of doping. He originally denied the charges, but in 2013, he publicly admitted that he had cheated to win. He subsequently was stripped of his titles and forced to give back some of his sponsorship money.

So far, it is reported that Armstong has given back more than $10 million in damages in similar legal battles, but the Landis and U.S. Postal Service lawsuit may be his biggest financial defeat if he loses.

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Landis said that the U.S. Postal Service had given Armstrong’s team almost $32 million from 2000 to 2004. In his lawsuit, he is seeking almost three times that amount in damages, totally to almost $100 million.

Landis is suing Armstrong under the False Claims Act, which is a federal law that penalizes people who fraud government programs. Under the act, plaintiffs can sue for a “treble” amount of damages, meaning they can get three times what was defrauded. If Landis and the government were to win the case against Armstrong, Landis could be owed up to 25% of the win.



Armstrong has said that he does not have to pay back the endorsement money because the government had profited way more than they had paid him with media exposure. They countered that they had actually received negative publicity being associated with him, which blemishes any exposure they had received by being his sponsor.

The trial for this case is most likely to begin in the fall, according to The Associated Press. 

Source: The Associated Press

Photo courtesy of The New York Times

What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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