|NASCAR fans injured at Daytona exploring lawsuit||02.27.13 at 10:53 am ET|
The NASCAR fans injured last weekend during a race are exploring a possible lawsuit, according to their lawyer.
Matt Morgan, the fans’ lawyer, said at a news conference Tuesday that the suit would focus on the safety fence used along the track at the Daytona International Speedway, where a crash injured fans during a race the day before the Daytona 500.
The identities of the fans considering the lawsuit were not revealed, but Morgan said two of them were seated directly in front of the crash and sustained injuries including a fractured fibula and abdominal swelling when debris from the wreck went flying into the stands.
The central question of the lawsuit will be whether the racetrack avoided responsibility through a liability waiver printed on the back of tickets (or something to a similar effect), or whether the failure of the fence to protect fans makes the track liable.
“If it’s just something written on the back of the ticket and not called to the attention of the person purchasing, there’s reason to believe many courts in Florida won’t hold that they consented efficiently,” said University of Florida emeritus law professor Joseph Little.
Paul Huck, an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law, took the opposite view.
“A ticket to one of these events is like a contract — and its provisions limiting liability are generally enforceable,” Huck said. “We enter into these types of contracts on a regular basis, and we often don’t give it a second thought that we may be limiting or even giving up certain legal rights when we do so.”
Donnalynn Darling, a New York-based attorney practicing personal injury law, said that the fence’s manufacturer at Daytona likely would be “very much responsible” because it was foreseeable that debris could pass through a fence that had holes in it.
|Jimmie Johnson wins fourth consecutive Driver of the Year Award||12.15.10 at 4:00 pm ET|
NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson won his fourth consecutive Driver of the Year Award, which was announced on Wednesday, ESPN.com reports. Johnson ties Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon as the only drivers to ever win the award four times.
Johnson won his fifth straight Sprint Cup championship after a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the final race of the Sprint Cup series. Johnson has won the Driver of the Year Award four of the past five years – Tony Schumacher of NHRA Top Fuel drag racing won it in 2008.
According to ESPN, Johnson was told privately that he won the award while in Las Vegas during the NASCAR award ceremony two weeks ago.
“Awesome. It’s an honor to win the award again,” Johnson said. “Among such tough competition; with the voting panel, who it is and how well versed they are in motorsports, it’s a huge, huge honor.”
|Report: NASCAR driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. pulled gun||11.30.10 at 12:59 pm ET|
According to a local Tennessee television station, Bobby Hamilton Jr. is accused of pulling a gun on racers at his Highland Rim Speedway in Greenbrier. The NASCAR driver was allegedly carrying the weapon and displayed it in a dispute with some racers at his track Saturday night. Anthony Walker, a super stock racer, and crew member Scott Thompson argued with Hamilton after they were disqualified for the car not being the proper weight. The pair told the WSMV station that they wanted a refund of their entry fee and Hamilton Jr. pulled the weapon.
“He cocked it back and started waving it around saying, ‘I’ll pop it, I’ll pop it,’” Thompson told the station. “I’ve never had a gun pointed at me and I definitely didn’t like it.”
Hamilton has a different version of events. He said he was going to his truck to get the refund money when he, “was almost surrounded” and felt threatened. He claims he saw the men reach into their pockets, and according to the story, that he saw they had pocket knives. “I kept watching their hands, watching their gestures,” Hamilton said. “They just kept getting more frustrated, about the time their hands go in their pockets, about the time they were coming out, they charged, and that’s when I said, ‘not today, not today.’”
Hamilton told the station that he lifted his shirt to show the men his gun, which contradicts the police report in which Hamilton claimed to have taken it out of his pocket. “I’m going to protect my business,” Hamilton said. “And I’m going to protect my life.”
Millersville Police Chief Ronnie Williams said Hamilton does have a carry permit and that no charges were filed because it’s a “he-said, she-said” situation.
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