Lance Armstrong has settled his False Claims Act (“FCA”) case with the federal government. As part of the deal, Armstrong will pay a $5 million settlement as well as roughly $1.65 million in attorneys’ fees. The relator, and doper himself, Floyd Landis, stands to collect roughly $1.1 million.
While the merits of settling can be debated, what I find unfortunate is that we will not get to watch the battle on the FCA theories of liability play out in court. As I discussed in a previous post linked here, it was the legal theories of liability that were much more interesting than the parties involved or the media circus that followed. Fraudulent inducement? Implied certification? Express certification? Could the government overcome the burden of proof that Armstrong not only violated the FCA but also caused any actual damages in doing so?
With the settlement, we are only left to wonder. Certainly settling an FCA case can be beneficial for all parties involved, and $5 million plus $1.65 million in attorneys’ fees may – or may not – be a big deal for Armstrong. But now the parties, and the public, can all move forward.