The Tony Stewart tragegy in New York made me wonder how safe the Texas Motor Speedway in north Fort Worth is. Has there been a crash harming drivers or spectators? Fortunately, this hasn’t happened here (yet). But TMS has had several collisions out on its property in the past few years that should have been prevented and as a Fort Worth injury lawyer, I find them alarming.
Death Several Weeks Ago
In July, a 14 year old young woman was tragically killed in its parking lot. Kierstin Eaddy, an honor student from Flower Mound, was participating in an autocross event on a Sunday morning when her go-kart wouldn’t stop and hit a fence. It’s not clear what happened. Perhaps the go-kart was poorly maintained, its brakes or accelerator were defective, or the staff had not insured that the young woman fully knew how to drive it. A complete investigation is necessary to determine who is at fault.
Death and Traumatic Brain Injury
Four years ago, Andre Vandenberg, a 56 year old instructor at the company that allows the public to drive or ride in super-charged Corvettes, crashed into a concrete wall at a speed of over 100 mph and sustained a traumatic brain injury resulting in the loss of use of the right side of his body. His passenger, Don Krusemark, an 87-year-old man who was being honored as a leading blood donor for Carter Bloodcare, was killed. An over used brake rotor apparently caused the Vette to crash. TDE did not install a $17.00 window net which would have Vanderberg’s head from exiting the confines of the cabin. They also did not have HANS devices to equip the cars with. If this was done, Mr. Krusemark would likely have survived the crash. Vandenberg was a former motorcycle racer from South Africa who has had a tragic past; his father-in-law died in crash caused by a drunk driver. Later, the Speedway revised its safety procedures and restricted speeds on the oval track. Both of these cases settled out of court for unknown amounts.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A Tarrant County jury awarded more than $11 million to the family of Ryan Davies, an 11 year old boy who also suffered a traumatic brain injury at the Speedway four years ago. Ryan and his baseball team — also from Flower Mound — were celebrating a victorious season by getting to drive a 500-pound miniature race car at speeds up to 70 mph. Another boy lost control and hit Ryan in the parking lot. Ryan’s younger brother witnessed the catastrophe as it unfolded.
Ryan’s parents filed a lawsuit against TMS seeking damages, including over $2 million in medical expenses. Poor Ryan is permanently confined to a wheelchair. The suit alleged that the Speedway failed to provide adequate training, signs, barricades, or a “kill-switch” on the race car. TMS filed a third-party action against the boy who hit Ryan and his parents, claiming they should have known that their son was emotionally unfit to drive.
What Was The Race Track Accused Of Doing Wrong?
The lawsuit in the Davies case was brought under the following causes of action:
A. Negligence: Failure to exercise the duty to
1. use ordinary care in exercising whatever control TMS had over the independent contractor;
2. use ordinary care in supervising their employees;
3. use ordinary care in training their employees;
4. use ordinary care in the selection of the independent contractor;
5. use ordinary care in taking precautions to protect the safety of others when work of an inherently dangerous character is performed by either an independent contractor or an employee;
6. prevent injury to others if it reasonably appeared or should appear that in the exercise of their lawful rights, others may be injured by a dangerous condition that was created by Defendants;
7. exercise reasonable care to avoid a foreseeable risk of injury to others;
8. the duty to take affirmative action to control or avoid increasing the danger from conduct which Defendants have at least partially created; and 9. use ordinary care in aiding or protecting others from peril when the peril is under Defendants’ control.
B. Premises Liability
The duty to use ordinary care in maintaining the premises in a safe condition by inspecting the property for any dangerous conditions and by making safe any latent defects or giving warning of any defects.
C. Negligent Entrustment of a Motor Vehicle
From Plaintiff’s Original Petition in Karen Davies et al. vs. Texas Motor Speedway, Inc. et al., Cause Number 348-221925-07.
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If you or a loved one have been injured in a collision, e-mail us at Bill Berenson Injury Law here or call us at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 to discuss how we can help you recover money for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages.