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Lawsuit brought against cyclist for alleged fraud

In the wake of cyclist Lance Armstrong's admissions to cheating in his pursuit of cycling championships, two men have filed a lawsuit against the former cyclist for fraud. The two plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim they would not have purchased Armstrong's books had they known the truth about how he achieved his titles. Authors who have been targeted by similar litigation in the past have managed to negotiate settlements or win dismissals from the courts.

The lawsuit also claims that Armstrong's publishers violated consumer protection laws by marketing the books as non-fiction. The lawsuit names the two men and all others who purchased the books believing they were truthful accounts of the author's life.

A lawsuit against an author by the reader of a book is unusual. Most commercial litigation involves issues such as breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, partnership disputes, breach of contract or other disputes between businesses or individual business professionals.

Business litigation usually involves disputes between businesses or between a business and an individual. A class action, as in the case of the California readers' lawsuit, seeks to recover damages for all individuals in the same situation as the plaintiffs who are named in the lawsuit. A class action does not name each individual member of the class. A class action lawsuit can be an efficient method for a court to make a decision in a single case brought by a small number of people who are named as the plaintiffs on an issue that affects hundreds or thousands of people who are in situations similar to those of the plaintiffs.

A commercial litigation attorney might be able to assist an individual business professional or small business owner in Virginia resolve disputes with other businesses or individuals. If the attorney is unable to negotiate a settlement of the dispute, litigation might be an option that an attorney could recommend.

Source: CBS News, "Lance Armstrong sued for fraud over memoirs," Jan. 24, 2013

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