Two men in California are filing a class-action lawsuit against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong for fraud and false advertising. They claim that Armstrong's best-selling memoirs — marketed as true accounts of his overcoming testicular cancer and going on to win a record-setting 7 Tour de France titles — were filled with lies.
This suit was filed by Rob Stutzman, a public relations executive and a deputy chief of staff for former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jonathan Wheeler, a chef and amateur cyclist. According to the New York Post, the two men said they felt "duped," "cheated" and "betrayed" after Armstrong's interview with Oprah in which he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs.
The lawsuit names Armstrong and his publishers, Random House and Penguin, and says readers deserve restitution and possibly damages, and that publishers should have been able to detect the lies Armstrong told, even though he routinely passed drug screenings.
A similar lawsuit was filed in the past against Greg Mortenson, who was accused of making up much of his best-selling book about advocating for education for poor girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson was defended by the firm Dorsey & Whitney, the same firm defending Penguin in the Armstrong suit, and a federal judge dismissed that case.
But the Armstrong suit was filed in California, known for the nation's most plaintiff-friendly consumer protection laws. And suits like this have seen success in the past, as readers of James Frey's A Million Little Pieces were awarded $2.75 million is damages after he confessed to fabricating some of his story to Oprah.
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