The whistleblower who filed a qui tam False Claims Act suit and the United States who joined that suit in 2013 scored another victory in court this week. The district court sided with them and against Armstrong, ruling that the UCI in Switzerland must produce documents in the case alleging that Armstrong’s doping activities amounted to fraud under his sponsorship contract with the US Postal Service.
Many have long claimed that the UCI helped shield Armstrong from detection so the documents could be highly relevant. Still to come in the case is much more discovery with the judge yet to rule on how many depositions the parties will be allowed to take. It is also possible that the UCI documents will pave the way for requests for documents from other foreign entities.
As we have previously written, if Armstrong is ultimately found liable under the FCA he could be liable for treble damages and penalties. The ultimate damages figure will depend on the proof at trial as well as the theory of damages the court adopts, but the liability could reach $100 million or higher.