Disgraced sprinter Johnson sues lawyer

Aug. 15, 2008 at 9:08 AM

TORONTO, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson who was stripped of his 1988 Olympic gold medal for doping is suing his former Toronto lawyer's estate for $37 million.

Johnson, 46, claims attorney Ed Futerman made unauthorized payments from his trust account and appointed a hairdresser as his agent despite a lack of experience.

The suit seeks $20 million for breach of contract, $12 million for negligence and $5 million in punitive damages, the Toronto Star reported Friday.

The lawsuit said after Johnson returned to Toronto following the disgrace, the Jamaican consul general at the time urged Johnson's mother to have the sprinter meet with Futerman at his home.

When Johnson arrived, the lawsuit said he was "totally unaware" the meeting would include the publisher, sports editor and a photographer from the Toronto Sun newspaper.

Lawyer Michael Kestenberg is representing the estate of Futerman, who died earlier this year. He told the Star he "will be fighting this vehemently."

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