Archive for August, 2010

Minor Dies During Motorcycle Race at IMS

August 31, 2010

United States Grand Prix Racers Union (Indiana)
(13-year-old young died when he was run over by a 12-year-old co-participant.)

As recently reported in the USA Today, a minor amateur motorcycle rider died this past weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race was a private event sanctioned by the U.S. Grand Prix Racers Union (“USGPRU”).  A spokesman for the USGPRU said that it will discuss ways to make the sport safer. According to the USGPRU’s website, a memorial fund has been established in honor of the deceased minor.

NOTE: The minor release form used by the USGPRU as posted on its website is attached. Is it very short and basic. While the incident occurred in Indiana, the sanctioning body appears to be from Virginia, and the deceased minor was Washington. Indiana has a statute which allows a minor to become partially emancipated for the purposes of filling out the necessary contracts and waiver and release forms in order to participate in motorsports activities. We did not see any information to indicate whether or not the statute was employed for participants in this event.

No Free License to Mow Down Bikers

August 28, 2010

Klein v. U.S. (California)
(California Supreme Court rules that the liability shield of California’s recreational use statute did not extend to acts of vehicular negligence.)

The plaintiff was riding a bicycle for recreation on a two-lane paved road in Angeles National Forest in Southern California when he was struck head-on by an automobile driven by a part-time volunteer working for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The court ruled that California Civil Code Section 846, which provides that a landowner “owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for any recreational purpose” did not extend to acts of vehicular negligence. The Court based its decisions on the plain language of the statute noting that the statutory phrase “keep the premises safe” related to property-based duties underlying premises liability, not including vehicular negligence.

NOTE: The Court’s conclusion was logical based upon the clearly defined duties related to premises liability.