Insurers Seek to Re-Open Arbitration Claim against Armstrong
On February 21, attorneys for the now disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong found themselves back in court. The embattled athlete’s legal team is attempting to fight a motion to re-open a 2006 arbitration decision which forced the Dallas-based sports insurance company SCA Promotions to pay Armstrong $12 million dollars in performance bonuses. As Armstrong has since come out and publicly admitted to doping, SCA believes that it should receive reimbursement for the monies it paid to Armstrong for winning three of Armstrong’s seven Tour de France championships – titles that have since been rescinded due to Armstrong’s confession to using performance enhancing drugs.
Tim Herman, one of Armstrong’s attorneys, noted, “[t]his case has been over for eight years, and SCA should not be allowed to resurrect claims that it gave up in a voluntary settlement that resulted in a final award.” However, the original arbitration panel ruled 2-1 that the case should be revisited when it reviewed the decision last October. Now, presiding Judge Tonya Parker of Dallas County is supposed to release a ruling on whether or not the original arbitration decision will be binding sometime next week.
SCA maintains that allowing the original arbitration decision to stand would be inequitable as Armstrong “lied at every step of the way” during the arbitration’s proceedings. SCA’s attorney Jeff Tillotson remained optimistic that once the case was reopened the company would “finally be able to hold Mr. Armstrong truly accountable for his reprehensible conduct.”
This only the latest legal battle Armstrong has faced with respect to bonus monies he received for his cycling victories. In November 2013, Armstrong paid Acceptance Insurance, a Nebraska based company, a $3 million settlement to resolve similar claims that insurance company brought against Armstrong for wrongfully paid bonuses.