NASCAR fans to reportedly sue over injuries sustained during the Nationwide race at Daytona over the weekend. But there is speculation that the fans’ case to sue may not hold any water.
A lawyer for three NASCAR fans who sustained injuries when a car smashed into a fence during the Nationwide DRIVEFORCOPD 300 race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 23 said they are currently exploring potential legal options. However, the organizers of the race say they are free from any responsibilities.
Nearly three dozen spectators were injured during Saturday’s Nationwide Series race when Kyle Larson’s car flew into the catch fence. His engine and front tires were launched through the fence, causing injury.
Speedway spokesman Andrew Booth told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that the ticket for the race has a disclaimer on it.
“The holder of this ticket expressly assumes all risk incident to the event, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequent to the actual event, and agrees that all participants, sanctioning bodies, and all employees, agents, officers, and directors of Daytona International Speedway, its affiliates and subsidiaries, are hereby released from any and all claims arising from the event, including claims of negligence,” he told the publication.
Luis Gracia, a lawyer for local law firm Rue, Ziffra, and Caldwell said that the disclaimer might be able to protect the Speedway in court. He said that in the past, some courts have upheld the disclaimer while some have not.
“It’s on the ticket,” Gracia told the paper. “It’s one of the conditions of you going into the venue. The ticket puts you on notice that basically you are buying the ticket and entering the venue contingent that you release them from any and all claims.”
Matt Morgan, the attorney representing the three injured spectators, believes there are grounds for a lawsuit against the race organizer.
“No fan assumes the risk of a car flying in the stands and suffering a significant injury,” Morgan told WFTV-9 in Florida.
He said the suit will focus on the makers of the 22-foot tall fence that separates the high-speed race cars and spectators.
“What we have to investigate—what was done and was there a safer fence that wasn’t put in place because of monetary considerations?” asked Morgan.
FOX 35 legal analyst Diana Tennis said that words on the ticket don’t mean anything.
“Businesses often attempt to limit their liability by putting things like this on the tickets. Little teeny-tiny writing and no signatures on anything else. It’s really not going to be binding,” she was quoted by WOGX Fox 51 as saying.
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