Armstrong lawsuit goes to trial in November
Lance Armstrong has been scheduled to go to trial on November 6th after failing to stop the doping lawsuit. Damages could range anywhere from $32 to $100 million dollars
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper set the trial date for a jury in Washington, D.C. late last week.
The federal government is suing Armstrong on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service, which paid $32.3 million to sponsor Armstrong’s cycling team from 2000-04. Its civil fraud lawsuit says USPS would not have paid the cycling team if it had known it was violating its sponsorship contract by using banned drugs and blood transfusions to win races such as the Tour de France.
Under the False Claims Act, it is seeking the return of the money, which could be up three times the orginal amount, nearly $100 million.
Armstrong’s attorneys don’t dispute the doping but say the USPS suffered no damages and instead received far more in value from the sponsorship than the $32.3 million it paid for it. At the time of the sponsorship, Armstrong was at the height of his career wearing the USPS jersey, helping boost the U.S. Postal Service brand worldwide.
The porsecution lawyers sees it differently, saying the sponsorship was worth zero because U.S. Postal Service signed a contract that stated in clauses for a clean cycling team but didn’t get one.
The judge Cooper said last week this issue will be decided by a jury.
“The Court concludes that the monetary amount of the benefits USPS received is not sufficiently quantifiable to keep any reasonable juror from finding that the agency suffered a net loss on the sponsorship, especially if one considers the adverse effect on the Postal Service’s revenues and brand value that may have resulted from the negative publicity surrounding the subsequent investigations of Armstrong’s doping and his widely publicized confession,” Cooper wrote. “Determination of damages must therefore be left to a jury. Accordingly, the Court declines to grant Armstrong summary judgment on damages and will set the case for trial.”
Armstrong confessed to doping in January 2013 after denying doping for more than 10 years. The government filed suit soon after, joining a case that originally was filed in 2010 by Armstrong’s former teammate, Floyd Landis, who also doped. He stands to get a cut of the damages as a government whistleblower if the government’s case succeeds.
Armstrong is banned from sanctioned cycle races for life and was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories in 2012.
Cooper set the trial date after rejecting Armstrong’s request last week to throw the case out of court in summary judgment.
Armstrong’s attorney, John Keker, requested that the trial start next year instead. But Cooper responded instead by setting the trial for November in federal court in Washington, D.C.
Lance doesn't have 100 Million?
Armstrong has previously said that he does not have $100m, and would stand to lose all of his remaining assets. Speaking in his own podcast about the pending federal whistleblower lawsuit against him, Lance Armstrong says that if the court rules against him, he could be “out on the street.”
“If I lost, we would not be sitting at this table anymore,” Armstrong said at an interview at his home in Colorado. “We wouldn’t be sitting in this home anymore. We wouldn’t be sitting in any home. I don’t have $100 million."
“We are down to one case, me versus the United States of America, Floyd Landis – it’s a heavy case. If it goes the wrong way for us, then we are on the street. So it’s pretty heavy. Let’s hope it doesn’t go the wrong way.”
Armstrong has already paid out lawsuits against him, including with The Sunday Times ($1.1 million) and SCA Promotions ($10 million). He said that he lost ($75 million) in sponsorship income. He has already sold his home in Austin, Texas and is currently living in Aspen.
Recently his Apsen home's title was claimed as capital if he fails to meet any outstanding payments to SCA Promotions $10 million lawsuit.