Court Dismisses All Claims by Ford Against Kasey Kahne DETROIT (July 28, 2005) -- On July 28, 2005, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan dismissed all claims by Ford Motor Company against NASCAR star Kasey ...
Court Dismisses All Claims by Ford Against Kasey Kahne
DETROIT (July 28, 2005) -- On July 28, 2005, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan dismissed all claims by Ford Motor Company against NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, in connection with Kahne's move last year from Ford to drive a Dodge in Nextel Cup, the most prominent NASCAR series. The Court found "that the Kahne-Ford personal services agreement is not enforceable..." and that Kahne had been free to switch to Dodge and Evernham Motorsports when Ford failed to provide a full time Nextel Cup car as requested by Kahne for the 2004 season. Pointing to admissions by Ford racing executives, Dan Davis and Greg Specht, the court found that the contract had "intentionally left open for future joint agreement" the "essential" terms of the actual series and team that Kahne would join, and that this was fatal to Ford's claim.
Kahne stated: "I'm thrilled that this decision sets the record straight that my move to Evernham Motorsports and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series was in good faith and didn't breach my Ford contract. My manager, Rod Moskowitz of MMI and I didn't publicly respond to Ford's attempts to smear me during this case because we were confident I'd be vindicated in court. Now that we've won, I'm glad to put this unfortunate action behind me. Dan Davis told me that I wasn't ready to move to Cup, and Ford tried to hold me back. I think my performance proved them wrong." After leaving Ford, Kahne was named NASCAR's 2004 Rookie of the Year.
The decision came down after Kahne's attorneys, Paul LiCalsi and David Baum of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, moved to throw the lawsuit out on the basis of the documents in the case and the testimony given by Ford executives during depositions. "As we said at the onset, this case was nothing more than an expression of Ford's frustration with its own failure to recognize Kasey's ability to race at the highest level of the sport", LiCalsi said. Baum added, "For the last year and a half, Ford and its team of lawyers have tried to bully Kasey in court and demonized him in the press as someone who did not live up to his obligations. The court's decision is a complete rebuke of Ford's tactics."