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Trek/LeMond lawsuit settled

  • By Steve Frothingham
  • Published Feb. 1, 2010
  • Updated Aug. 15, 2010 at 6:50 PM EDT

The almost-two-year-old battle between Greg LeMond and the Trek Bicycle Co. has been resolved, LeMond’s lawyer told VeloNews Monday.

While some of the terms are confidential, attorney Jamie DiBoise said the agreement includes Trek making two payments of $100,000 each to 1in6.org, a charity LeMond is involved with. “The first payment will be made very quickly, the second one will be a year from now,” DiBoise said.

Trek and LeMond each alleged that the other broke terms of a licensing contract that allowed Trek to use the LeMond name on bikes for more than a decade. Trek announced in 2008 that it was ending the agreement and stopped manufacturing the bikes.

Trek charged that the three-time Tour de France winner devalued the brand, in part by alleging that Trek-sponsored Lance Armstrong was a doper. The bike company also said LeMond abused his free- and discounted bike privileges.

LeMond charged that Trek did not market the bike brand sufficiently.

DiBoise said the settlement was reached over the weekend.

Late last fall a judge ordered the two to work on a settlement. In December, a federal judge rejected requests from each side to dismiss the case, and granted each an assortment of minor victories and setbacks.

In a joint press release, Trek president John Burke praised LeMond’s place in cycling history.

“Greg has a hard-won place in the Pantheon of bicycle racing, and we are proud of what we were able to accomplish together,” said Burke.  “Trek respects Greg’s efforts and commitment to the charitable foundation, 1in6.org, and Trek is pleased to lend its support to that very worthwhile endeavor.”

In the release LeMond said he took ‘deep satisfaction’ in the resolution.

“I am pleased to resolve the issues between Trek and myself and am happy to be able to move forward with the things important in my life.  I appreciate Trek’s support for the work of 1in6.org.  I take deep satisfaction in this resolution and believe it will have a positive impact on those that can benefit most from the purpose of 1in6.org.”

The press release says both sides have agreed “to close out all remaining issues for the business venture they began in 1995, and to provide funding for a charity near Greg’s heart.”

DiBoise said LeMond now controls all rights to the LeMond Bicycle name and will decide soon whether to revive the bike brand. “Everything reverts back to Greg. Now what he does with it, whether he rolls it into LeMond Fitness or not, he will decide over the next month.”

Ralph Weber, attorney for Trek, declined to talk about terms of the settlement or characterize it as a victory for Trek.  “Both parties are pleased with the result,” he said.

LeMond is a founding board member of 1in6.org, a California-based charity that “helps men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.”

At a Floyd Landis doping hearing in 2007, LeMond revealed that he had been sexually abused as a youngster. Since that revelation, LeMond has been active in support groups addressing the issue, including 1in6.org.

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