Family Brings Lawsuit for Death of Son at Kentucky Speedway Racing Experience
The parents of a young man who was killed at the speedway in Sparta, Kentucky, has brought a lawsuit against the company which provided the opportunity for novices to drive race cars. Stephen Cox, 30, had been given a chance to participate in the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience as a birthday gift. The Racing Experience is an event that travels to racetracks around the country, offering amateur drivers the experience of driving a NASCAR-level vehicle around a track used for NASCAR races. Participants pay between $169 and $2,000 to drive the race cars, depending on how many laps around the track they wish to take. Cox attended the Racing Experience when it was held at the Kentucky Speedway, known throughout the sport of racing as the “Roughest Track in NASCAR.” While Cox was taking a lap around the track, traveling at what his family’s attorney estimates was over 100 mph, the steering wheel of the car came off in his hands. Stephen lost control of the car and, while attempting to brake, slammed into the wall surrounding the track. Cox broke his skull, spine, and multiple other bones, and died in the hospital one week after the accident.
Stephen’s parents have filed a lawsuit for damages resulting from the wrongful death of Stephen, claiming that the steering wheel was not properly attached to the driving column of the car, that the head and neck stabilization device designed to provide another layer of protection for drivers in NASCAR races had not been appropriately harnessed onto Stephen’s seat, and that other safety features in the cabin were overdue for replacement. Extremely similar accidents have happened at other Racing Experience events, as well. Two other participants in Racing Experiences in other states crashed–one man breaking both legs—when the steering wheels to their race cars came off while they were driving.
As the Cox family’s attorney notes in the complaint filed in this case, while Stephen signed a release of liability, the release does not allow the Racing Experience to be absolved from any responsibility whatsoever, or that Stephen consented to drive an unmaintained, faulty, or improperly-assembled vehicle. Generally, when someone agrees to participate in a dangerous activity, they will be required to sign a document where they agree not to sue if they are injured by the dangerous activity, but such agreements may not rule out liability where the company organizing the dangerous activity has neglected vital responsibilities to ensure participants’ safety.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you know how overwhelming it feels to handle financial and legal issues while still in grief for your loss. Find legal help from an attorney who can take on the task of filing and investigating any legal claims you may have for compensation for a wrongful death. Contact Georgetown personal injury attorney Jeremy Mattox for a free consultation on your possible legal claim, at 502-867-6766.