Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Will the dam burst on doping cases?

The U.S. Postal Service is suing Lance Armstrong, claiming it was hurt by its highly touted sponsorship of his Tour de France cycling team while he secretly was doping (which apparently he admitted on TV?).  No doubt the USPS will be asking for its support money back, and then some.  Lance and his team are fighting hard to get the case dropped.

The case is really interesting because it is based in large part on claims of fraud.  As this blog has discussed in the past, a civil fraud claim provides a powerful remedy (and deterrence) because it can reach back years to the fraud and allow for the recovery of pretty much any and all kinds of resulting money damages - economic loss, noneconomic loss (like pain and suffering if appropriate), punitive damages, attorneys fees, case costs etc.  Most importantly, it could result in a civil judgment collectible from Mr. Armstrong himself (and any other person or entity proven at least partly to blame).

You can bet other professional high-priced athletes (and their lawyers) are watching this case.  Arguably anyone who has been defrauded by athletes who cheat could bring such a lawsuit.

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