The horse is out of the barn for Canadian Olympic showjumper Eric Lamaze.
A British court found that the gold medallist faked end-stage cancer in a desperate bid to get out of a $500,000 case involving a 2010 deal to sell three horses to Iron Horse Farm that were not of the quality promised.
Lamaze, however, maintains that he continues to battle the disease.
A motion filed by Lamaze stated that he had been “battling brain cancer for a number of years,” with the disease also spreading to his throat and requiring surgery.
However, Justice Marvin Kurz doubted the claims and the reliability of documents provided, leading to “questions regarding the true state” of Lamaze’s health.
Lamaze’s then lawyer, Timothy Danson, had filed a statement claiming that the Olympian was diagnosed with brain cancer in November 2017.
But Jerome Morse, representing Iron Horse, pointed out that Lamaze had used a similar claim in early 2019 “in the hope of adjourning his discovery,” but then was well enough to compete in three events in March 2019.
A medical report sent by Danson to Morse dated April 5 “raised suspicions.”
The document cited medical issues but did not include any medical records, only photos of Lamaze’s disfigured face following surgery. It had also been written in Dutch and included an error in the address of the address of Chirec Delta Hospital, where the document purportedly was from. It was allegedly signed by neurosurgeon Dr. Nordenyn Oulad Ben Taib, who is not known to speak Dutch.
Another letter, dated Aug. 2, stated that Lamaze would require more surgery was allegedly signed by Dr. Benoit Pirotte from the same Belgian hospital.
However, a private detective hired by Iron Horse confirmed with Pirotte that the letter was fraudulent and he had not signed it. Oulad Ben Taib did the same. The hospital’s legal department also confirmed that both documents were forged.
Kurz dismissed Lamaze’s request for adjournment, saying: “Mr. Lamaze attempted to perpetrate a fraud on the court by filing three forged letters, which falsely purport to be medical reports regarding Mr. Lamaze’s dire medical condition.
“Mr. Morse (Iron Horse’s lawyer) argues that if that fraud were not sufficiently egregious, Mr. Lamaze feigned end-stage cancer, which is an insult to all who have suffered from that dreaded malady.
“He did so only to avoid a ‘day of reckoning’ in an action that was commenced more than ten years ago but has yet to reach trial.”
Lamaze won three medals in Equestrian for Canada — including a gold in showjumping at the Beijing Games in 2008 – and has competed in three Olympics. He announced his retirement in March 2022.
Danson, who has resigned from the case, told The Daily Beast: “I was blindsided and stunned and shocked when the other side had evidence that they were forgeries.
“I have been a trial and appellate lawyer in Canada for 43 years, and this is the first time that any client has done this to me.”
Danson also added that Lamaze is “very sick, but maybe not with cancer.”
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