Thursday, 23 February, 2017

Lance Armstrong fails to block $100m lawsuit

Sport stars banned for drug use GETTY Sport stars banned for drug use
Nathaniel Diaz | 16 February, 2017, 01:12

A judge denied 7-time Tour de France victor Lance Armstrong's request to dismiss the $100 million lawsuit against him by the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper refused Armstrong's motion to dismiss, because of the difficulty of quantifying the damages the Postal Service may have suffered.

The case will now be presented in front of a jury at a future date.

The federal government is suing Amstrong on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service and is seeking $100 million in damages alleging Armstrong defrauded the U.S. Postal Service during its sponsorship of his team in the 1990s and early 2000s.

After years of denials, Armstrong admitted in 2013 he had used performance-enhancing drugs while racing.

Floyd Landis, a former teammate of Armstrong's, initially filed the suit in 2010, two years before Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles and banned from professional cycling for life.

USPS paid US$32.3 million in sponsorship dollars to the cycling team between 2000 and 2004. In 2013, the feds joined the lawsuit and sued Armstrong under the False Claims Act, saying he violated his contract with the USPS by using performance-enhancing drugs.

The decision Monday by U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington sets the almost 7-year-old case on course for a jury trial.

Defense attorney Elliot R. Peters, with Keker & Van Nest in San Francisco, said the ruling shows there is no evidence of quantifiable financial harm to USPS.

The United States government will seek nearly $100M in damages from Lance Armstrong after a trial was finally granted permission to proceed.

Armstrong has tried to have the case dropped, claiming that the sponsorship benefited the Postal Service and was worth more to USPS than the $32m it paid to his now disbanded team, Tailwind Sports Corporation.

Landis, himself a former Tour victor caught cheating, would be entitled to up to 25 percent of any money recovered. "So the government may now proceed to a trial that, as a practical matter, it can not win".

The government has calculated damages at three times this amount. "Accordingly, the Court declines to grant Armstrong summary judgment on damages and will set the case for trial".

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