A lawyer for three NASCAR fans who sustained injuries when a car smashed into a fence during the Nationwide DRIVEFORCOPD 300 race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 23 said they are currently exploring potential legal options. However, the organizers of the race say they are free from any responsibilities.
Nearly three dozen spectators were injured during Saturday’s Nationwide Series race when Kyle Larson’s car flew into the catch fence. His engine and front tires were launched through the fence, causing injury.
Speedway spokesman Andrew Booth told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that the ticket for the race has a disclaimer on it.
“The holder of this ticket expressly assumes all risk incident to the event, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequent to the actual event, and agrees that all participants, sanctioning bodies, and all employees, agents, officers, and directors of Daytona International Speedway, its affiliates and subsidiaries, are hereby released from any and all claims arising from the event, including claims of negligence,” he told the publication.
Luis Gracia, a lawyer for local law firm Rue, Ziffra, and Caldwell said that the disclaimer might be able to protect the Speedway in court. He said that in the past, some courts have upheld the disclaimer while some have not.
Supreme Court Thwarts Challenge to Warrantless Surveillance
A divided Supreme Court halted a legal challenge Tuesday to a once-secret warrantless surveillance project that gobbles up Americans’ electronic communications, a program that Congress eventually legalized in 2008 and again in 2012.
The 5-4 decision (.pdf) by Justice Samuel Alito was a clear victory for the President Barack Obama administration, which like its predecessor, argued that government wiretapping laws cannot be challenged in court. What’s more, the outcome marks the first time the Supreme Court decided any case touching on the eavesdropping program that was secretly employed in the wake of 9/11 by the President George W. Bush administration, and eventually codified into law twice by Congress.
A high court majority concluded that, because the eavesdropping is done secretly, the American Civil Liberties Union, journalists and human-rights groups that sued to nullify the law have no legal standing to sue — because they have no evidence they are being targeted by the FISA Amendments Act. Some of the plaintiffs, which the court labeled “respondents,” are also journalists and among other things claimed the 2008 legislation has chilled their speech and violated their Fourth Amendment privacy rights.
The act, known as §1881, authorizes the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant so long as one of the parties to the communication is outside the United States. The communications may be intercepted “to acquire foreign intelligence information.”