A federal lawsuit against former cyclist Lance Armstrong will proceed to trial after a judge refused to throw the U.S. Government’s $100 million lawsuit against him.
The federal government’s $100 million lawsuit against Lance Armstrong doesn’t go to trial until November. But both sides already are duking it out over who gets to testify about a crucial question in the case:
How much was the U.S. Postal Service harmed as a result of Armstrong’s doping on the Postal Service cycling team?
Both sides hired experts to support their arguments. And now each side is asking a federal judge to forbid the other’s experts from testifying at trial – a decision that could dramatically impact how the jury sees the case.
“The government’s strategy to use these so-called experts to establish damages is doomed to fail,” Armstrong’s attorneys said in new court filings.
The issue is critical. The government is suing Armstrong on behalf of the Postal Service, which paid $32.3 million to sponsor Armstrong’s cycling team from 2000 to 2004. It argues that Armstrong’s cycling team violated its sponsorship contract by using performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions to cheat in races – and then lied about it to continue receiving payment.
If the government can prove the sponsorship had no value because of the doping, the government could get triple its money back from Armstrong under the False Claims Act – nearly $100 million.
In Armstrong’s defense, his attorneys say the Postal Service wasn’t damaged at all and instead profited nicely from the sponsorship while Armstrong’s team was wearing the Postal Service jersey at the height of his fame. They hired an expert to prove it: Douglas Kidder, who estimated the Postal Service obtained $257 million in…