Motorsport is dangerous.

F1Yorkshire

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Contributor


This is the image that is ever present at all tracks and on the back of our race tickets. There is a key disclaimer in the bottom line. "YOU ARE PRESENT AT YOUR OWN RISK" All motorsport fans know this and the thrill of a possible accident is what drives many of us to the sport.

After the Daytona 300 crash which injured around 30 people, 2 of them critically, legal action is now underway against the race organisers.

Is this going to be a start of a trend for when incidents like this happen? This article says that the lawyers involved are trying to get NASCAR to settle out of court and avoid further litigation is this because are they worried that the case will be thrown out due to the disclaimer on the ticket.

I think NASCAR should have their day in court as the fans know the risk and trying to cash in on a quick buck is becoming too much of a regular occurrence in most countries.

Incidently the most seriously injured from the crash are not making a claim against NASCAR and one of them at least is hoping to have recovered in time so he can get back to watching the sport he loves as soon as possible.

This is an issue that could affect any of us as regular racegoers and a change in the law could cause serious disruption in the form of higher stronger fences, fans being forced to sit further from the action and possibly refused access to certain events completely just in case the organisers are at risk of being sued.

If a precedent is set here then similar legislation would be rolled out over all motorsport, one of the big losers here would be rallying where the risk is the highest but thrill the greatest for the fans.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
As I have said before, the best thing possible would be for every law school in the world to be shut down for at least a decade. These damn "ambulance chaser" lawyers are why 5 cents worth of goods cost a dollar. Nobody is willing to take responsibility for their own actions anymore. I am a member of a search and rescue team, and the clowns we routinely save then threaten to sue us for taking so long! What a screwed-up system!
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Is that disclaimer on American tickets F1Yorkshire ? I agree with your sentiments but I'm not sure it works like that in other countries...

Yes, this disclaimer appears on the tickets of most sports. However, that doesn't prevent attempted lawsuits. A fan is suing after having his nose broken by a foul ball at a baseball game, despite the disclaimer appearing on the ticket. Nowadays, most people seem to consider any mischance as equaling the lottery--they might as well see if they can become rich.

I rest my case about law schools.
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Oh!! maybe I should go to the ranting thread !!
Beef may be Horsemeat. Smoking may kill. Drinking may kill. Don't eat red meat. Take the skin of chicken
For goodness sake, which of us doesn't understand the risks involved....

And while you're at it, don't cross the road with your eyes closed.
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Of course it doesn't, they have to take all reasonable precautions. If they haven't you can do your thing and sue them for all you can get.
But if they have done everything that they should have.. we all know that the freak accident can happen.Do we have to be reminded that the sport we love involves an element of risk? And whilst on the subject.. Ayrton knew the risks he was taking. If you are going to support the prosecution of the Williams team, we may as well stop motor racing now.
I'm sorry, I find it very depressing.
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
I wasn't supporting the prosecution of Frank I was merely stating that it happened, and the disclaimer on the ticket is a necessary precaution for the organizers of an event, just like it states on car park signs all over the country that the owners of the car park takes no responsibility for any damage caused to a vehicle whilst parked and you park your car at your own risk...

It's the way of things in this age of litigation....
 

tonyw151

Points Scorer
Contributor
Speaking of Italian laws, I saw a review of the '73 season from the Lotus viewpoint a little while ago, I seem to remember something about Chapman facing charges. Is this in relation to Rindt? If so was he absent in '71 and '72?

Sorry if I'm dragging this off topic, feel free to move to Ask the Apex if its a better place.
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
Not that litigation, retribution or compensation is a new thing mind you, it has been going on since the dawn of time, an eye for an eye a to tooth for a tooth.

My brother in law (Sadly dead now a motorbike accident, well it wasn't an accident it was his own fault going to fast hit a lamp post and bang dead, oh and the council sent my sister a bill for new lamp post. (I jest you not.)) worked in Saudi for a while and he told me that if you hit a man with your car you had better make sure you kill him because if you don't you will be financially responsibly for his entire family for the rest of your life...

I'm not sure how true that is but that's what he told me...
 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
A while ago, as I was waiting for a train, I saw some official types on the platform, measuring the "Mind the Gap" writing on the platform edge, and taking pictures of it. It seems that someone tripped on the way out of the train, and is now suing. There are laws to state how large and regular the words must be, and they were being checked. My understanding is, that they were just on the legal side. However, would this mean that if they were, say 2mm smaller (bearing in mind the letters are at least a foot high already) would that mean they were illegal, therefore liable?

In my career, I have come across much of this type of stuff, albeit in a different environment, with regards food safety, and the key element is a HACCP, or Hazard Analysis at Critical Control point. In other words, assess the hazard, and the risk, and the likelihood, and make sensible adjustments to a process, to ensure the risk is mitigated.

An example was with a 100ft cliff. Dangerous, clearly, as if you fall off, you would most likely die. The best way to prevent injuries would be to put up a fence all the way along the cliff, but this is not practical, so you put up signs at regular intervals.

The key point however, is the process. Our food safety routines were the result of this process, and in the event of any challenge from the EHO, we had to prove our processes were being employed correctly.

The same things apply here, I would have thought, certainly if logic and common sense were to be applied (although I know this is the realm of law!!)

You could move every spectator to be at least 200m away from the action, and erect huge steel fences. That would work. But not practical, so you erect fences, and do what you can to maintain a spectacle, whilst minimising the risk. However, you do need to ensure that the process has been correctly carried out, e.g. maintain the fences, ensure that walls and safety barriers are regularly inspected, and do what is necessary to prove due dilligence.

Providing this can be proven, there should be no case to answer, and these things should be put down as a tragic and regrettable accident.

However, it would seem that more and more frequently, the concept of an accident seems to be morphing.
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
An example was with a 100ft cliff. Dangerous, clearly, as if you fall off, you would most likely die. The best way to prevent injuries would be to put up a fence all the way along the cliff, but this is not practical, so you put up signs at regular intervals.


It would be interesting to see, if, in todays mad world, someone fell of between signs the fallers family could sue successfully.
:)
 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
Crikey.

When I get in to power, common sense will prevail.

Lawyer: Could you see the sign clearly?

Defendant: No, cos the letters were the wrong font.

L: Then you will be disqualified from driving for having dodgy eyesight, fined for wasting the courts time, and thrown in the slammer for having the audacity to come to court to try and get off a blatant crime using a technicality.
 
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