Archive for the ‘Sanctioning Body’ Category

Pit Road Penalty – Release Agreements Enforceable But Not to Bar Negligent Bleacher Maintenance Claim (NY)

May 4, 2015

Stevens v. Payne (NewYork)
(trial court opinion)

The plaintiff was injured while watching his daughter compete as a race care driver at a racetrack in New York.  Plaintiff suffered a heart attack and fell off of bleachers landing six feet below onto the ground, resulting in permanent paralysis of his legs.  He then sued the racetrack (Skyline Raceway) and the sprint car sanctioning entity (Capital Region Sprintcar Agency [“CRSA”]), alleging there was a dangerous condition on the bleachers because they lack side railing.  CRSA file a motion for summary judgment on tow grounds: (1) it did not owe a duty to plaintiff for the condition of the bleachers because it neither owned nor controlled them; and (2) the plaintiff’s cause of action was barred by the two waiver and release agreements signed by the plaintiff (one signed for the CRSA in connection with the race car entry, and one signed for Skyline at the event on the day of the incident).

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The Shaft

August 29, 2012

Nesbitt v. NMCA, et. al (Illinois – pending)
(A drag racer injured when a driveshaft broker and entered the cockpit is suing multiple parties, including the racing association, the sanctioning body, and the chassis manufacturer.)

CompetitionPlus.com recently posted a story here about the lawsuit filed in Cook County Court.  The article includes an initial response from the National Muscle Car Association (“NMCA”).  The NMCA is not surprised about the lawsuit considering the current state of the judicial system and is very confident in its ability to defend the claim, particularly in light of the waiver and release agreement signed by Nesbitt prior to participation.

NOTE: Legal claims that arise out of these types of incidents that appear to derive from nothing more than the risks inherent in a dangerous sporting activity like motorsports are obviously a significant reason for inconsistency and high cost associated with sports insurance products.

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.