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Judge refuses to dismiss USPS' $100M lawsuit against Lance Armstrong

By Andrew V. Pestano
Judge refuses to dismiss USPS' $100M lawsuit against Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong, who in 2013 admitted to doping following a decade of denial, is facing a $100 million lawsuit brought forth by the federal government, which sponsored Armstrong from 2000 until 2004. The U.S. Postal Service argues it would never have sponsored Armstrong if it knew he and his team violated his sponsorship contract by lying about doping. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A federal judge rejected Lance Armstrong's request to dismiss the U.S. government's $100 million lawsuit over lost promotional value following his doping confession while sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service.

Armstrong's defense argued the USPS was not damaged due to Armstrong's doping scandal and that the government agency made more money than the $32.3 million it paid to sponsor Armstrong from 2000-04.

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The USPS said it would not have sponsored Armstrong if it had known the team was violating its sponsorship contract by doping. It said Armstrong's actions damaged its brand. The government seeks to get its money back and it could have that amount tripled under the False Claims Act.

Armstrong could be liable for paying it all.

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"Because the government has offered evidence that Armstrong withheld information about the team's doping and use of [performance-enhancing drugs] and that the anti-doping provisions of the sponsorship agreements were material to USPS's decision to continue the sponsorship and make payments under the agreements, the Court must deny Armstrong's motion for summary judgment on this issue," U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper wrote in his ruling.

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Armstrong was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories in 2012 and is banned by cycling's leading authority for life. Cooper said a jury will determine how much the USPS will receive.

"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.

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