SACRAMENTO, CA - A daring move in the courts followed Lance Armstrong's stunning confession last week to Oprah.
A Sacramento political analyst is part of a class action lawsuit against the world-famous cyclist. The lawsuit alleges that Armstrong made numerous lies and false claims in his inspirational 2005 book.
Rob Stutzman, the former Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and more than 100 others filed suit against Armstrong and three publishing groups - Random House, Crown Publishing and the Penguin Group - in the class action complaint.
The suit claims misrepresentations in Armstrong's book, It's Not about the Bike, My Journey Back to Life and Every Second Counts.
Stutzman and another plaintiff, Jonathan Wheeler, a professional chef and life-long cycling enthusiast, claim that they recommended the compelling book to several friends. The plaintiffs claim they would not have bought the books if they knew the true facts of Armstrong's misconduct and his admitted involvement in the sports doping scandal.
In the complaint, Stutzman said he "doesn't buy a lot of books or read a lot" but was inspired Armstrong's book.
In the book, Armstrong documented his triumphant return to dominate the world of cycling after his devastating bout with testicular cancer.
According to the complaint, the controversy exceeds a sum or value of $5 million.
The primary complaints allege false advertising, negligent representation, fraud and deceit.
Legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Bill Portanova said lawsuits like this one are filed to prove a point.
"Sometimes they are filed because the bad guys who've been lying and cheating and make it all the way to the top deserve to be bothered," said Portanova. "Piling on a lawsuit, you shouldn't have any sympathy, have a guy who's been cheating. Whether or not this lawsuit will result in a payment coming back to anyone else is unlikely."
The plaintiffs' attorneys have chosen not to comment about the lawsuit.
In an email, Stutzman said that he didn't want to comment on the lawsuit either. He said the complaint speaks for itself.
Wheeler said the lawsuit isn't just about the book; it's a lesson for Lance Armstrong.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org