At least two NASCAR fans stuck by flying debris at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday have retained legal representation. Matt Morgan, of the Morgan and Morgan law firm, confirmed that they are now representing two of the victims.
Some spectators have questioned whether there are grounds to sue, saying that the fan assumes some responsibility, knowing that racing can be a dangerous sport. After all, some NASCAR fans would argue that the best seats in the house are the ones right up front next partition that divides the track from the stands. Event tickets also contain a disclaimer, in black and white print that, "the holder of this ticket expressly assumes all risk incident to the event."
FOX 35 legal analyst Diana Tennis said that those words are meaningless. "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."
Tennis said the 30 fans injured on Saturday could sue. "Now, will the race track have a legitimate argument that people there assume some level of risk of injury? Perhaps. But I think they also have to agree that the fencing that's up is there for a reason, and they'd expect that that fence would withstand tires being blown through it. So, I think the fact there was a breach, in fact, in their 'security,' certainly could open them up to a lawsuit," said Tennis.
She said the list of who could be named in a lawsuit is long. "You've got the track, the people who constructed the fencing, you potentially have the people who made the fencing, you potentially have was there someone who did something to one of the vehicles that helped cause the crash that helped send the tire flying that went through the fence," said Tennis.
As time goes on and investigators learn more about the cause of the crash, those who are clearly not at fault or negligent would be dropped from the lawsuit. Tennis said no on would get rich from a personal injury lawsuit in the case. She said the goal here is about getting medical bills and loss of wages covered.
Ultimately, if it comes to that point, it would be up to a jury to make that decision. Tennis said there is also a possibility that the race folks could offer to cover the victims' medical expenses or offer a settlement to avoid and trial.