December 10, 2023

Racing in the USA: a legal offense in Las Vegas? Formula 1 fans want compensation

Formula 1 is taking on a Hollywood-style look in Las Vegas – for several reasons. After the opening farce, it was the lawyers’ turn. It’s about billions of dollars in damage.

After a brilliant comeback in Las Vegas, Formula 1 is in danger of losing a billion dollars. A Hollywood law firm wants to advance the interests of 35,000 angry fans after the farce surrounding a faulty water column and the evacuation of the stands.

According to attorneys, a class action lawsuit has already been filed in Nevada federal court. The damages required for embarrassing Formula 1 during opening practice are beyond imagination: they are no less than 1.05 billion US dollars, equivalent to about 960 million euros.

The Las Vegas-based law firm Dimopoulos, whose appearance could be the model for a legal thriller by best-selling author John Grisham, along with JK Legal & Consulting, want to detain the organizer of the Formula 1 race and the company in charge of maintenance. From the responsible path. The matter relates to “allegations of breach of contract, negligence, and misleading commercial practices against the defendants,” according to what the specialized portal “” reported from the complaint.

High amount in the room

“We will defend the rights of fans who have traveled long distances and paid small fortunes but have been deprived of the experience,” Steve Demopoulos of the law firm of the same name was quoted as saying.

On average, this requires compensation of at least $30,000 per viewer. “Our law firm recovers millions of dollars each month on behalf of our clients,” the home page read. If you succeed, you might even get a t-shirt from the company’s fan shop – but angry fans won’t be laughing at that.

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“If I were a fan, I would tear down the whole place.”

Formula 1 offered vouchers worth $200 (about 183 euros) to all fans who had a ticket costing several hundred dollars for the opening day alone. In this context, we are talking about 35 thousand people. “If I were a fan, I would have demolished the whole place,” world champion Max Verstappen said on Dutch television, supporting the isolated visitors.

Those who managed to stay until the race were treated to a lot of excitement during the Dutchman’s Grand Prix success. Anyone who bought a ticket for opening day alone was already looking at the tube. The first practice session was canceled after just 19 minutes due to a defect in the water column cover on the asphalt.

Disinfecting the stands for public safety?

All water column covers along the entire track had to be removed and filled with sand and asphalt. “The whole process, from identifying the problem to fixing it, took about five hours,” said a statement issued by Formula 1 managing director Stefano Domenicali and race organizer Rene Willem on Friday (local time).

The pilots were not able to participate in the second session until after a delay of two and a half hours. However, the fan zones have long since been cleared. The regulator justified this measure primarily by the professional safety of employees and concern for public safety.

According to the plaintiff, the track was not ready for racing

According to the Demopoulos law firm, the track “was not in race-ready condition at the time of the event.” The lawsuit goes on to say that Formula 1 management, which was also hosting a race for the first time in Las Vegas, failed to “recognize defects and/or improper installation” of the watertight column and ensure that the track was ready. To race for training.”

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In a statement, Formula 1 asked fans to understand their actions. They had to “balance many concerns” “including the safety of all participants and the fan experience throughout the entire weekend.”

The plaintiff seeks damages for mental anguish

Organizers and the leading motorsport category concluded their statement by saying that everyone attending events “were canceled due to factors such as weather or technical issues. This happens and we hope people understand.”

According to the plaintiff, the astonished spectators were not offered a refund of their entry fees. They are now demanding financial compensation for these fans. “In addition, Plaintiffs seek damages for mental anguish in an amount determined by the jury to be fair and reasonable in light of Defendants’ willful, reckless, and willful conduct,” the lawsuit said.

General Counsel as lead regulator in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a prestigious project for Formula 1. Because of all the possible conflicts in advance – such as road closures or problems with residents – it appointed its general counsel Rene Willem as the main organizer of the race. If anyone knows about the terms and conditions, it’s her.

A Grand Prix spokesman was quoted as saying: “We cannot comment on legal disputes.” “Our focus is on providing our fans with an entertaining experience in a safe environment, which is always our top priority.” Now it’s the turn of the federal court in Nevada.