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Formula 1 Las Vegas GP

Law firm launches legal action over F1 Las Vegas GP spectator ejections

A high-profile Nevada law firm has launched a legal action against the Formula 1 Las Vegas GP organisation and its contractor to pursue refunds for spectators.

Police eject fans from a grandstand

It is asking for payments of "in excess" of $30,000 per spectator, split equally between "general" and "special" damages.

After Thursday's incident involving Carlos Sainz led to the first free practice being stopped, there was a lengthy delay while water valve covers were checked.

FP2 was supposed to start at midnight, and it finally got underway at 2.30am. However, the venue was cleared of spectators at 1.30am due to staffing and security issues.

On Friday, spectators affected were offered a $200 voucher to be spent at the venue's merchandise sites.

On Friday evening, the Dimopoulos law firm working in conjunction with JK Legal & Consulting filed a class action on behalf of the 35,000 spectators it says were at the track on Thursday.

The action states that "the lawsuit alleges breach of contract, negligence, and deceptive trade practices against the defendants," who are the Las Vegas GP and TAB Contractors Inc., the company involved with maintaining the track.

Lead lawyer Steve Dimopoulos, well known in the city for personal injury cases and through billboards and TV advertising, noted: "We will vindicate the rights of the fans that travelled great distances and paid small fortunes to attend, but were deprived of the experience." 

The action outlines the events of Thursday evening, although it incorrectly states that practice resumed at 3.30am rather than 2.30am.

Work and discussion is undertaken to fix the loose manhole covers on track

Photo by: Francois Tremblay

Work and discussion is undertaken to fix the loose manhole covers on track

It notes: "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.

It says that "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."

The claim also references the conditions on tickets, which suggests that if the event was cancelled and not rescheduled a refund up to face value would be due.

It adds that "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."

The F1 organisation is aware of the claim but a spokesperson declined to comment when approached by Motorsport.com.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for LVGP said: "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."

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