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I'm too lazy to find the original thread of the accident. But here's the lawsuit:

Ben Keaton and his passenger, Corey Rudl, were both killed when Keaton's Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a wall at an estimated speed of about 145 mph during a Ferrari Owners Club track day.
Predictably, the lawsuit has been filed. Rudl's wife Tracey filed suit against a long list of defendants, seeking an unspecified amount of damages for her husband's wrongful death. She is represented by Craig McClellan, a very successful San Diego-area personal injury attorney who made a name for himself in the '80s when he represented a plaintiff who successfully sued Porsche on the theory that their 911 Turbo was too difficult a car to handle to be sold to inexperienced drivers.
THE CLAIMS

The lawsuit asserts a number of claims against several defendants. The more significant are:

• Keaton Estate - Failure to inform Rudl that he had been having handling problems with the Porsche, and that he had a recent incident where he lost control of the car.
• Racetrack owners and operators - Maintaining an unsafe racetrack as a result of inadequate maintenance, signage, and safety controls, and not moving back the concrete barriers after creating the children's play area.
• Ferrari Owners Club and the flagman - Negligently operating the track day by sending the Ferrari onto the track at the wrong time, violating their own rules by allowing passengers in the cars, failing to disclose Keaton's dangerous driving propensities, and allowing the track day to occur without moving the concrete barriers back to where they belonged.
• Ferrari driver - Not paying attention to the flagman, entering the track improperly, driving too slowly, and moving directly into the path of the Porsche.
• Porsche - Product liability for selling an unsafe car. This falls into three levels of defect.
1. There was some mechanical problem with this particular car that made it handle badly.
2. There are design defects with the Carrera GT that make it a poor-handling car, mainly tail-happy.
3. Third: The Carrera GT is too difficult a car to handle at high speeds for the average driver without instruction.


WHAT ABOUT THE RELEASE?

"Legal Files" recently addressed the enforceability of releases given by track participants and concluded that they are generally enforceable if the injuries are sustained by hazards that are contemplated at the time the release is given. This case tests the effect of the release signed by Rudl in two ways. One is that it alleges that the track owner and operators managed it in an unsafe manner and contrary to established safety standards for racetracks. In other words, they didn't have to make it as safe as the street, but they did have to make it safe as racetracks go. The other is that it alleges that numerous pertinent facts were concealed from Rudl, and he therefore did not give an informed consent.

CLAIMS ABOUT THE CAR

The claims about the Carrera GT itself are likely of most interest to us. Whether there was a mechanical issue with this particular car, or whether the Carrera GT design is inherently unstable, are matters that are best left to the engineers to debate.

But the claim that the Carrera GT is too hot to handle is something that all of us can think about. And this isn't just Porsche's problem. Clearly, the same claims can be made against other supercars, such as the Ford GT, the Enzo, and a host of others. A quick Internet search will locate sites whose function is to display photos of wrecked supercars, typified by http://www.wreckedexotics.com. It isn't hard to conclude that many of these cars are sold to owners who have far more cash than driving skill. And it's probably realistic to assume that these owners are not going to recognize their limitations and will succumb to the desire to drive these cars "the way they were meant to be driven," sometimes with disastrous consequences for themselves and others.

Should the manufacturers be required to qualify owners before selling these cars to them? How are they supposed to determine qualifications? And should they automatically be held liable when they sell supercars to owners who can't handle them?

McClellan says, "No, Porsche should only be liable because this car was defective." But then he adds, "It is defective, however, if the risks of its design outweigh the benefits. If its power and handling characteristics make it too dangerous for the average driver without training or instruction, then it is defective. Porsche should be liable because it sold a defective vehicle to Ben Keaton."
http://www.businessweek.com/autos/content/jun2006/bw20060608_466074.htm
 

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What a crock. Based on what I recall of the incident, they may (emphasis on may) possibly have a case against the Ferrari club for negligence in the operation of the event. However, the rest is garbage. That doesn't mean she won't be awarded a large amount of loot though. :thumbdown:
 

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atomicalex said:
Isn't the whole reason you buy a 911 because it is tail happy?
This was actually a Carrera GT but he lost control at high speed (over 140 mph) while attempting an emergency evasive manuever (trying to avoid the much slower Ferrari entering the track in front of him). I don't think this is an engineering/design issue at all.
 

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This lawsuit highlights a lot of what is wrong with our legal system. I'd be willing to put money on the plaintiff winning a LOT of money. And for what? Your husband is dead and so is another husband and father. WTF people.

There's a very, very long and detailed thread over at Rennlist where I think one of the forum posters is actually a lawyer for the case (but it's been a while, so I might be wrong on that).

And you don't buy a 911 because it's tail happy, especially since that tail-happiness can lead you to backing it into a guard rail. You buy it for that intoxicating flat-6 music and it's all around kickass-ness as a sports car.
 

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Lesson learned: Always hit a moving car instead of a wall when going 140mph+. Might not have made a difference but I'd take my chances.

She'll get some money but not everything she wants. Oh well.
 

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She is represented by Craig McClellan, a very successful San Diego-area personal injury attorney who made a name for himself in the '80s when he represented a plaintiff who successfully sued Porsche on the theory that their 911 Turbo was too difficult a car to handle to be sold to inexperienced drivers.
Wow, there's an attorney I hope gets his nuts sued off by his pissed off ex-wife some day.

• Keaton Estate - Failure to inform Rudl that he had been having handling problems with the Porsche, and that he had a recent incident where he lost control of the car.
• Racetrack owners and operators - Maintaining an unsafe racetrack as a result of inadequate maintenance, signage, and safety controls, and not moving back the concrete barriers after creating the children's play area.
• Ferrari Owners Club and the flagman - Negligently operating the track day by sending the Ferrari onto the track at the wrong time, violating their own rules by allowing passengers in the cars, failing to disclose Keaton's dangerous driving propensities, and allowing the track day to occur without moving the concrete barriers back to where they belonged.
• Ferrari driver - Not paying attention to the flagman, entering the track improperly, driving too slowly, and moving directly into the path of the Porsche.
• Porsche - Product liability for selling an unsafe car. This falls into three levels of defect.
1. There was some mechanical problem with this particular car that made it handle badly.
2. There are design defects with the Carrera GT that make it a poor-handling car, mainly tail-happy.
3. Third: The Carrera GT is too difficult a car to handle at high speeds for the average driver without instruction.
It sounds to me like her attorney is just flinging as much shit against the wall as he can to see what he can make stick.

I don't see how avoiding a car that pulled out in front of you while you're going 140+ mph is a Porsche design flaw unless Porsche is supposed to make cars withstand 140 mph wall crashes now. I understand being upset but I don't understand this at all.
 

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She will get a settlement ! Attorney will get 30-40% of that....she will find another porsche owner in a yr..
 

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Sullie said:
It sounds to me like her attorney is just flinging as much shit against the wall as he can to see what he can make stick.
That's EXACTLY how lawsuits like this work. You toss what you can and keep whatever comes back to you. It's an asinine system.
 

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I am still waiting for the day when we get a Judge with some reall common sense and balls that will look at a case like this and just look the plantiff and their lawyer straight in the face and calmly and politly say "GET THE F#@K OUT OF MY COURT ROOM!!!!! You are wasting everyones time and tax payers money"
 

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D-n-Tyke said:
I am still waiting for the day when we get a Judge with some reall common sense and balls that will look at a case like this and just look the plantiff and their lawyer straight in the face and calmly and politly say "GET THE F#@K OUT OF MY COURT ROOM!!!!! You are wasting everyones time and tax payers money"
i'm with you
 

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D-n-Tyke said:
I am still waiting for the day when we get a Judge with some reall common sense and balls that will look at a case like this and just look the plantiff and their lawyer straight in the face and calmly and politly say "GET THE F#@K OUT OF MY COURT ROOM!!!!! You are wasting everyones time and tax payers money"
Unless it's your case...

If she truly has no case then it will get thrown out. However the claims against the track and the event organizers sound fairly compelling to me.
 

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Macabre said:
Unless it's your case...

If she truly has no case then it will get thrown out. However the claims against the track and the event organizers sound fairly compelling to me.
Okay so lets even say that those parts of the case are compelling, why load up the case with all the other frivolous crap. I think the lawyers do it for the exact reason posted above, load it up and see what sticks. In other words if I think I have a 5% chance of winning claim A, if I load it up the law suit with other stuff I know I have no chance with then they will throw me a bone and award something for claim A since they threw out claims b-z.

Why not just sue the track and the organizers? Why bring in the car manufacture and especially the dead guy?


Edit:

Oh and this wouldn't be my case. If one of my family members was in that car under his own wishes and god forbid perished then it would be a tradgity and I would morn but I would nto sue eveyone and there mother. It was their choice to get in the car, no one else. There are things in this world that are dangeous and if you decide to participate then you also decided to accept the risks.

I seem to recall it used to be in England that if you want to file suit you could file suit agaisnt anyone about anything, but if you lost you had to pay all your legal bills, all their legal bills, AND all the courts costs. I don't think it is that way anymore but I think that is how it should be everywhere.
 

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D-n-Tyke said:
Why not just sue the track and the organizers? Why bring in the car manufacture and especially the dead guy?
Maybe because the lawyer wants to make some money for taking the case and they have deeper pockets. I like to keep in mind that it is for this reason that regular people like me can have the opportunity to get decent legal representation. Of course that's just an assumption, without knowing much about the people involved, but it's one possible justification other than greed.

D-n-Tyke said:
Oh and this wouldn't be my case. If one of my family members was in that car under his own wishes and god forbid perished then it would be a tradgity and I would morn but I would nto sue eveyone and there mother. It was their choice to get in the car, no one else. There are things in this world that are dangeous and if you decide to participate then you also decided to accept the risks.
Even if you thought the track operators were negligent in preparing the venue for your family member's visit? Isn't it their responsibility when you pay them to use the track to make sure it is operated safely, no different from the responsibility of airlines or hotels or schools to do the same?
 

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passaturbonium said:
Cause he didn't have enough money to pay for his own lessons.......stupid I'm sorry.

If I was to race on the racetrack.....ANY car I would def take some lessons first.

No matter how much you know (or think you know) there is ALWAYS more to learn.....
Seriously, dude, you need to research the facts on things before posting.
 

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J-RAD said:
Seriously, dude, you need to research the facts on things before posting.
I was just about to write essentially the same thing. passaturbonium, even a minor read of the link I posted should provide you with what happened. I don't race cars but from the coverage I read I don't know what he could have done, save slamming into the Ferrari and even that is basically against every instinct you've got.

I'm also no lawyer but I'm guessing the best footing for the plaintiff is the whole part about Rudl signing the release based on false information, that being that Keaton didn't tell him about supposed handling problems. But how does one substantiate what these handling problems and how can they prove that they were real? I don't see how, at all. One person's problem may be nothing to another.

The sad part is that these people both had very upscale lives and now they're cloggin my country's court system with this legal bullshit. Suck it up, bitches. Life sucks sometimes. If either of them didn't have life insurance policies, well, then they're morons.
 

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She's just pissed becuase insurance doesn't cover the race track

It kills me that this is an actual case
 

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D-n-Tyke said:
I am still waiting for the day when we get a Judge with some reall common sense and balls that will look at a case like this and just look the plantiff and their lawyer straight in the face and calmly and politly say "GET THE F#@K OUT OF MY COURT ROOM!!!!! You are wasting everyones time and tax payers money"
AMEN!!!
 

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This is one reason we should have a loser pays system. If you lose a civil suit, you should have to pay for the other's legal fees...
 
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