A class action lawsuit has been filed against the Las Vegas GP organisation by Dimopoulos Law Firm on behalf of 35,000 fans who missed FP2 due to Thursday’s manhole cover incident.
Las Vegas’ return to the Formula 1 calendar did not get off to the best of starts when the opening practice session was abandoned after just nine minutes after Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari was wrecked by a concrete frame around a manhole cover that had failed.
That led to a lengthy process as the FIA went around the 6.2km-long circuit where they are said to have worked on another 30 at-risk manhole covers.
‘We will vindicate the rights of the fans’
As such second practice was delayed by two-and-a-half hours with spectators ejected from the circuit in the build-up to the session.
Formula 1 cited concern about “our public safety and security officials” and offered single-day ticket holders a $200 voucher to spend on race merchandise.
They, however, stopped short of apology.
Dimopoulos law firm working in conjunction with JK Legal & Consulting has now filed a class action on behalf of the 35,000 spectators it says were at the track on Thursday.
Lead lawyer Steve Dimopoulos said: “We will vindicate the rights of the fans that travelled great distances and paid small fortunes to attend, but were deprived of the experience.”
Las Vegas Grand Prix organisation has refused to comment on the class action, saying: “We cannot comment on the litigation. Our focus is on ensuring that our fans have an entertaining experience in a safe and secure environment which is always our top priority.”
‘Breach of contract, negligence, and deceptive trade practices’
According to motorsport.com the lawsuit “alleges breach of contract, negligence, and deceptive trade practices against the defendants.”
It stated: “The manhole cover seals that were supposed to surround the manhole cover were installed, worked on and inspected by defendant TAB in the course and scope of their contract to work on the subject track and make the track race-ready.
“The work on the track performed by TAB, including installing the subject failed manhole cover and concrete work sealing the manhole cover, was completed only days before the ‘practice run’ event and the track was not in the race-ready condition at the time of the event.
“F1 and/or its contractors and safety organisations had a duty to inspect the track to make sure that it was safe for use by the racers and was race-ready for the ‘practice run’ event” and “failed to detect the flaws and/or poor installation of the subject manhole cover sealed by TAB and failed to ensure that the track was race-ready for the ‘practice run’ event.
“As of the time of this complaint, none of the attendees and/or invitees who purchased the tickets to the ‘practice run’ event, and were deprived of the opportunity to attend the same through no fault of their own, have received and/or were offered any refunds for their tickets.”
The claim asks for “money damages in an amount that will fairly and reasonably compensate them for the harm caused by the defendants.
“In addition, the plaintiffs claim damages for mental anguish in an amount to be determined by the jury that is fair and reasonable in consideration of the wilful, reckless, and intentional conduct of the defendant.”