2013 Daytona 500 spectators injured in crash not able to sue anyone due to ticket disclaimer

Article by Anita Panait, on March 1, 2013

Around 30 NASCAR (the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) spectators received various injuries after they were hit by wreckage from a crash at a race Saturday. They may choose to file lawsuits against NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and owner International Speedway Corporation, but they could be facing a major hurdle if they decide to do so. It appeared that the NASCAR tickets they bought for the race contain fine print of a disclaimer.

The disclaimer on a Daytona ticket says that its holder expressly assumes “all risk incident to the event, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequent to the actual event.”

The disclaimer also says that the holder agrees that “all participants, sanctioning bodies, and all employees, agents, officers, and directors of Daytona International Speedway, its affiliates and subsidiaries” are released from any claim arising from the event, including claims of negligence.

Lawyers said that NASCAR, Daytona and International Speedway could just point out to the disclaimer -- designed to inform buyers of potential dangers and waive any personal injury liability – in case any of the injured spectators come forward and file a case against them.

The spectators received injuries when the Saturday crash kicked up debris, including at least one tire, through and over the fence designed to protect the crowd. Two spectators who were initially listed as critical were described to be in stable condition on Sunday. Others were either in stable condition in the hospital or had already been treated and released.

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