Anderson responds to ruling on Armstrong case; appeal planned

- Texan judge rules that email job offer is 'not a contract'

Following news that a judge in Austin, Texas, had ruled in favour in Lance Armstrong as part of an ongoing legal battle with former employee Michael Anderson (see story), Cyclingnews has been told by Hal Gillespie, counsel for Anderson, that his client plans to appeal.

Anderson has taken the champion American cyclist to court over alleged wrongful dismissal and breach of contract.

"Mike Anderson is disappointed with this ruling by the trial court judge in Austin. The ruling dismisses Anderson's claims of breach of contract and fraud, but leaves a claim for defamation and for the value of Anderson's services," he said. The ruling is by the same state court judge in Austin, Texas, who previously "ruled that even if Lance Armstrong did fire Anderson ... such conduct by Armstrong, even if true, would not, in her view, be 'extreme and outrageous'.

"Today's ruling is not a vindication of Lance Armstrong," said the lawyer. "This is a narrow ruling, based solely upon the argument of Armstrong's lawyers that the email promises he made to Anderson did not meet the technical requirements of a contract in Texas. Armstrong initially suggested that Anderson was making up his claim that Anderson would help him fund a bike shop when his period of employment with Armstrong came to an end. Then, after Armstrong sued Anderson for a court ruling that there was no contract, in discovery proceedings Armstrong produced a copy of the e-mail where Armstrong did tell Mike he would help fund the bike shop," claimed the lawyer.

"The ruling also fails to vindicate Armstrong on the key issue of why he fired Anderson. Anderson has alleged that Lance Armstrong fired him because he knew too much," he said.

The latest ruling dismisses this case and any opportunity for Anderson's legal representatives to "put Lance Armstrong under oath to answer questions about why he fired Anderson".

Gillespie said his client "plans to appeal these rulings and hopes his lawyers will some day have the opportunity to question Lance Armstrong in detail under oath about the issues that the trial court judge has dismissed without Armstrong's sworn testimony."

The case continues.

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