NASCAR fans to sue? Maybe not
NASCAR fans injured at Saturday's race may sue, but experts say they'd have a hard time collecting damages.
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"Did the sporting event promoter take action to prevent that specific risk?" Darling asked. "In terms of this fence...it was put up to prevent people from being hurt. You have people who were not only injured by falling debris, but by the failure of the fence."Skip to next paragraph
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Others say such restrictive clauses on the back of tickets are generally disfavored by Florida courts.
"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.
Still, Paul Huck, an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law, said contract law could take precedence.
"A ticket to one of these events is like a contract — and its provisions limiting liability are generally enforceable," he 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."
Darling also said that the fence's manufacturer at Daytona would likely be "very much responsible" because of it being foreseeable that debris could go through a fence that has holes in it.
That seems to be theory that Morgan is adopting. He referenced a 2009 crash at NASCAR's racetrack in Talladega, Ala. in which a car that launched into the catch fence sent debris into the stands and injured several fans.
"At that point in time a group of engineers got together and they said 'It's time for us to manufacture a safer fence,'" Morgan said. "To my knowledge, that was done. But what we have to investigate at this point in time is what was done...If you can ever point to monetary considerations being put ahead of people, then there's a big problem."
Darling predicted that NASCAR would try to settle with the injured fans.
NASCAR "had an obligation to protect the fans that are so loyal, and it is bad from a public relations standpoint," Darling said. "So they're going to do something."
AP Auto Racing writer Jenna Fryer contributed to this report.