Race Weekend Central

Las Vegas Grand Prix Endures More Egg on its Face with Class-Action Lawsuit

In response to Thursdayʻs debacle to begin the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Dimopoulos Law Firm, working in conjunction with JK Legal & Consulting, filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the 35,000 fans it purported attended the event. 

After the first practice was halted eight minutes into the session when Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz suffered damage owing to a loose water valve cover, event managers evacuated the crowd prior to the second practice, starting after a five-hour interruption. Hence, fans who paid for tickets for the day and anticipated seeing two practice sessions enjoyed just a brief few moments of action.

The law firm seeks damages from Las Vegas GP, who are the organizers, and TAB Contractors Inc., who are in charge of maintaining the track.  The suit comes on the heels of the statement released from F1 on Friday that came across more as an excuse than an apology.

From a legal standpoint, offering an apology would have more easily opened the prospect of a lawsuit because it would admit culpability in the matter. Instead, Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1, and Renee Wilm, CEO of the LVGP, offered, “We have all been to events, like concerts, games, and even other Formula 1 races, that have been canceled because of factors like weather or technical issues. It happens, and we hope people will understand.”

In conjunction, the organizers offered the fans $200 vouchers for the F1 store as a form of compensation. 

The law firm has stated its 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.”

Neither the LVGP nor the F1 have responded to the lawsuit, aside from stating that they will not comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit follows a trend of bad press and reactions to the race.  Many residents expressed disdain toward the event, one that has caused traffic problems for the balance of the year, along with having exorbitant ticket prices that locals cannot afford.  Add Max Verstappenʻs comment of the race being “99% show and 1% sport” and further asserted, “I love Vegas, but not to drive an F1 car. I love to go out, have a few drinks, throw everything on red, be crazy, have nice food. … But like I said, the emotion and passion is not there compared to old-school tracks.”

About the author

Ava Lader headshot photo

As a writer and editor, Ava anchors the Formula 1 coverage for the site, while working through many of its biggest columns. Ava earned a Masters in Sports Studies at UGA and a PhD in American Studies from UH-Mānoa. Her dissertation Chased Women, NASCAR Dads, and Southern Inhospitality: How NASCAR Exports The South is in the process of becoming a book.

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4 Comments
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Alex Curtis

The disdain from the locals centers around track made it more difficult for them to get to their drug dealers and hookers.

Mike Kalasnik

How much were tickets for practice?

DoninAjax

To me, the only guarantee is to have a race, which is what F! put on. Would there be a lawsuit if it rained? Remember the race last year?

RCFX1

There was no reason to clear the stands. If people wanted to sit there for 5 hours while they fixed the track, then let them sit. Then they can watch FP2 and enjoy that. I’ve been to Nascar races (Dover) where it’s rained the entire weekend and had to deal with it. I just don’t see why they had to remove everyone.

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