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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Posting up for anyone who would like to contribute to cover legal fees against this case. Read for more details.

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Save The Track Days !!! (Go Fund Me link)

As riders, we all know that our passion for motorcycles can be dangerous. Two wheels, coupled with high speeds sometimes results in crashing. We know this, we accept this and the risks involved. Some of us, in the pursuit of better skills and the next level in our passion for riding, take it to the track. A track day is a platform to extend our skillset in a non-competitive environment, the track day provider provides us the opportunity to get out on a race track and hone our skills at our own pace without the rigors and preparation of racing, track days are not race events.

As the consumer of track days, we agree to show up with a mechanically sound motorcycle, leathers/safety gear and an understanding of the dangers that may lay ahead. Everyone in the track day community agrees that the track is a “no-fault” environment, we understand and accept that there is the potential for crashing and injury. Two years ago, a rider came out to a Keigwins’s track day at the world-renowned Laguna Seca Raceway. In his pursuit of honing his skill set, he had an “off track experience” as we refer to in jest in the track day community — he ran off the track surface and crashed.

Now, this may sound like a fundraiser to help him with his medical bills… unfortunately, it is not…
After “unnamed rider” signed up for the track day, signed the accident waiver holding harmless the track day provider, provided his medical insurance and emergency contacts, he then entered the closed course at his own risk. During the course of the track day event, he had an accident while pushing his personal limits and ran off the track, in doing so he impacted water retention sandbags placed far from the track surface by Laguna Seca maintenance staff and crashed.

The race track places these sandbags in key locations - ie. hillsides, water flow areas, etc to prevent water run-off from entering the track surface. The results of his accident have led him to file a lawsuit against the track day provider that spans into the millions.

We’re asking for your help in covering the legal fees to stand up against what is essentially an assault on all track day riders’ ability to get out on a track without having to pursue actual racing.
How does this affect you?

If he is successful in his lawsuit against Keigwins’s at the track day provider, that opens the door for anyone injured at a track day to sue the provider because they weren’t able to get through a track day without crashing. It opens the door to a flood of lawsuits that will drive insurance up for ALL track day providers and opens the door to the very real possibility that track day providers will have to double/triple their prices or risk going out of business.

The owner of Keigwins’s WILL NOT settle out of court and pay a claim that isn’t the responsibility of the track day organizer, this sets a national precedent and puts us all at risk of losing track days and/or seeing prices rise to an unmanageable level for all.

We have attorneys who ride who are willing to help, volunteers willing to help with legal paperwork, expert testimony witnesses donating time, riders willing to show up in Court and be a presence — this is a team effort to protect our passion!

We need your help as well.If you ride, if you live for that 2-wheel life, if you love the freedom that comes on two wheels, whether you ride track or not, track days are in jeopardy and need your help — join the team and help fight to protect our passion
Please donate what you can.
Every little bit helps!!

Any money raised that isn’t used for attorney/court/filing fees will be donated to the motorcycle based safety charity - RRW Action Fund ( RoadracingWorld Action Fund ) in all of our honor.

Thank you,

Szymon Dziadzia

Owner of Keigwins at The Track
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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The crasher doesn't have a case. The waivers work and there is a long history of claims like that getting thrown out. This should be a quick easy case for the track day org's lawyer. Precedent has already been set. No orgs are in danger of this case increasing their costs. That statement is just something to drum up sympathy to help them pay for their lawyer.

What I haven't seen in this is if the lawsuit comes from the individual or if it comes from his health insurance company. More often than not, it's a health insurance company trying to recoup funds. The majority of smart people have health insurance before doing a track day. Only a serious idiot does a track day without health insurance.

When you end up in the hospital, your health insurance team goes to work figuring out ways that they don't have to pay. Placing blame on someone other than the rider is the number two way to get out of paying. Number one is if it's a street bike, they try to get your bike insurance to pay, and then you have two insurance companies fighting about it with the unnlucky crash victim in the middle.
 

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In order for this lawsuit to have any chance at all for the rider, he'd have to prove that it was the track team/crew that was the cause of the crash itself. The sandbags were being used as a retaining wall far away from the course environment and wasn't the cause of the crash itself. The rider's case is doomed to fail and the track should be safe. I'm surprised one of those lawyers helping out on this case isn't doing it pro-bono since it's a clear and easy win and many legal posts and partnerships do require a certain amount of pro-bono work periodically as a form of community service.
 

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Here come all the Law & Order attorneys with their input on a case where they don't have all the facts.

I support the track. I don't do risky shit without knowing the consequences. Had he not pushed his limits far beyond his skill set, he wouldn't have been way the hell out by the sandbags.
 

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The rider will have a case only if the injuries were a result of gross negligence on the part of the track day organizer or the track itself. Gross negligence, regardless of wording of the waiver, cannot be waived. Gross negligence means "conscious indifference to the rights of others despite an actual, subjective awareness of the risk involved," which effectively means if you should know something is a significant safety hazard and ignore it, no waiver is going to save you. For example, if there was an oil spill on the course, we have a condition a reasonable person would consider a safety risk. If the decision was made to continue the event without adequate clean-up action, regardless of signed waivers there is potential liability that could be legally pursued.
From the information provided, the sandbags were well clear of the intended course and would likely not be considered a reasonable risk, meaning the rider has no case. This is, however, without a full presentation of all the facts (I do not know exactly where the sandbags were placed in relation to the track, etc.) The rider does not need to prove that the crash was caused by the track/organizer, just that the placement of the sandbag constitutes gross negligence on the part of the track/organizer. This would be the only part of it that may (I say again, MAY) hold up in court.
If, for example, the sandbag was placed near the edge of the track on a curve, it could be argued that the placement of the sandbag should be considered gross negligence on the part of the track/organizer as a reasonable person would consider that a safety risk and the bag was placed there anyway, reasonably knowing someone/something may get hurt/damaged. Again, with only the information presented, it sounds like the sandbag was located at a reasonable distance from the course such that it would not pose a reasonable risk, but to flat out say "he signed a waiver, there is no liability" is not strictly true. I could see this getting dragged out in court over the argument of "does the placement of the sandbag constitute gross negligence?" depending on where that sandbag was located.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've had an "off track track experience" in turn 5 and it takes an extraordinary effort to get past the gravel and touch the wall or sand bags that are nowhere near the track.

 

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sorry but why is a business asking people to cover for their legal expenses? I'm sure the owner makes more than I do. if I run a business where my customer can get injured (even through no fault of your own), then I'll take it as the cost of doing business that some customers may sue.

As others have said, the summary also does not provide any information on whether the rider may or may not have a point. It sounds like the rider (or his insurance) does not have a point, but waivers do not waive gross negligence. although it's probably not the case, it may also be the instructors weren't very good at explaining this guy not to run too fast (it was his 1st day). in my experience, the standard deviation in America in individual intelligence is larger than normal: some Americans are very smart, others are incredibly stupid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
sorry but why is a business asking people to cover for their legal expenses? I'm sure the owner makes more than I do. if I run a business where my customer can get injured (even through no fault of your own), then I'll take it as the cost of doing business that some customers may sue.

As others have said, the summary also does not provide any information on whether the rider may or may not have a point. It sounds like the rider (or his insurance) does not have a point, but waivers do not waive gross negligence. although it's probably not the case, it may also be the instructors weren't very good at explaining this guy not to run too fast (it was his 1st day). in my experience, the standard deviation in America in individual intelligence is larger than normal: some Americans are very smart, others are incredibly stupid.
No one is obligated to donate, and if you really want to know shoot them an email inquiring about it. I personally can't imagine running a track org is a lucrative business when factoring in all the costs.

I ride with Keigwins and they make it clear that safety is their number one objective when riding at the track. All riders are required to have their gear/ bikes inspected prior to the track time AND go the morning rider's meeting where it is emphasized over and over to NEVER RIDE BEYOND YOUR SKILL LEVEL among many the usual track rules. After, the beginners group starts with "sighting laps" following the instructors. The coaches are riding all day and offer helpful advice. Rider's that are a danger to themselves or others are black flagged and stopped.

As for the crash details see the link @MAL posted: http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/blogs/news_blog/scramp-prevails-in-lawsuit-filed-by-injured-motorcycle-hobbyist/article_fa943984-f59c-11e7-b7e0-cb54d56356fe.html
 

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from the article posted, the lawsuit was against the county, which owns the track, and the rider lost. at the bottom of the article, the rider's lawyer said they were thinking to sue Keigwins. I think it's cheeky to ask riders to cover the legal expenses for their business (unless the cost would force it out of business), and not even provide any information to substantiate their need (unnamed rider? lawsuits are public record, usually) but whatever, none of my business really, and I wish them good luck since they really look they are being wrongly accused.
 

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sorry but why is a business asking people to cover for their legal expenses?
This didn't sit well with me either, especially since this case hinges on negligence. If I was trying to make a strong case that I was indeed not negligent, I would expect that I should have some form of insurance in place for if/when someone becomes injured. Not having insurance suggests I do not care about the well-being of the participants, which further supports a claim of negligence against me. Basically, it is known that shit happens when riding at speed, even on a closed course, so if I had zero coverage, it is hinting that I give zero fucks if someone hurts themselves. At the very least, I would have thought some form of liability insurance (for exactly this type of case, if it turned out the organizer was determined to be at fault) would be required.
If I do in fact have insurance, would it not be the insurance company lawyers who are leading the defense because THEY would be the ones paying, not me (directly)?

I have never looked in to hosting track days, but it just seems silly to me that the host would be asking for financial assistance for legal fees if they held insurance, and an indication of negligence if they did not.

Again, from the bits and bobs I have gathered, this is a frivolous suit that will not hold up in court, but some things aren't making sense to me.

When I was in university, I was on the Concrete Toboggan team (exactly what it sounds like, and more or less as close as engineering students will get to playing varsity sports). We were required to fill out similar forms with insurance information and waivers and all that mess before we were even allowed on the hill, let alone ride the sled. The organizers also had an ambulance parked at the bottom of the hill with paramedics present for the full event. The organizers also held insurance for the event. This was because the organizers realize this is a risky activity which can lead to serious injury and possibly death and they take every reasonable precaution when planning the event. If someone had become injured and sued, the insurance company would have been the one on the hook for the cash, so the insurance company's lawyers would have been the ones involved during any legal proceedings.
 

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At the very least, I would have thought some form of liability insurance (for exactly this type of case, if it turned out the organizer was determined to be at fault) would be required.
I don't know all the details, since the guy who owns the business and is asking for donations has not provided many at all. I skimmed through comments at a different riding website, and someone said he does have liability insurance, but the insurance wanted to settle and he doesn't want to.

even though it's a frivolous lawsuit, sometimes insurances just prefer to settle, especially if the settlement is less than what the insurance would spend to litigate even a 99% sure win. if you pay for the insurance, you may feel irked at settling, but really it's not a perfect world and you should just let it go. however, I don't know if that's true because as far as I know if the insurance wants to settle they can generally do so with or without your approval.

someone else said the claim might be for more than what the insurance would cover, so the only option is to litigate. This hypothesis doesn't make too much sense to me as I would imagine the insurance is still required to defend you but I don't know the fine prints.

of course, it's just possible the business doesn't have insurance, and I agree with you that it's not responsible and not OK to ask for money. on the other hand, I know that generally speaking insurances are kind of a scam, so I understand a business might want to self-insurance, if say, the policy premium is half your income.

it's possible the business self-insured, but the owner feels that all riders should share the cost. I have a slight personal feeling, which might be wrong, that the owner is a little bit exploiting (not sure how consciously) the surprising solidarity and general good will that I found between riders, and the personal goodwill he seems to have earned by running a good business that is friendly to riders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What it really comes down to is the fact this is a VOLUNTARY donation. Absolutely no one is obligated to participate. The case of "could have, should have, would have" can apply to any any situation. Can't pay your hospital bills? Should have gotten better insurance. Lost your job? Should have worked harder. Having a hard time keeping up with bills? Wouldn't have happened if you had your bachelor's degree, wait, errr, you have it? well.... should have gotten your masters.

I don't personally care to defend Kegwins but settling in court would be a stupid approach considering the amount of crashes and injuries that happen at the race track. Might as well close up shop if every rider who crashes decides they have a case for a lawsuit.
 

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we know it's voluntary but we just want to express some reservations, that's all. I totally agree he should not settle (unless his insurance wants to settle), but a business asking for help in paying operating expenses is not the same thing as someone needing help paying their medical bills or getting fired.

there's also a difference between "hey I got wrongly sued and if I pay the legal bills I will be bankrupt" and "hey I got wrongly sued and if I pay the legal bills I will only make $100k this year instead of $150", and we honestly do not know which one of the two it is, since the gofundme campaign has a nicely worded rally to save racing, but no actual information such as (for example) lawsuit court docket number or revenue for the company for this year.
 

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we know it's voluntary but we just want to express some reservations, that's all. I totally agree he should not settle (unless his insurance wants to settle), but a business asking for help in paying operating expenses is not the same thing as someone needing help paying their medical bills or getting fired.

there's also a difference between "hey I got wrongly sued and if I pay the legal bills I will be bankrupt" and "hey I got wrongly sued and if I pay the legal bills I will only make $100k this year instead of $150", and we honestly do not know which one of the two it is, since the gofundme campaign has a nicely worded rally to save racing, but no actual information such as (for example) lawsuit court docket number or revenue for the company for this year.
I would suggest the company that has a branded Ferrari as a company car and multiple coach bus campers can afford their own legal defense, unless it is a horribly managed company in which case I would consider the possibility that the horrible business management may be indicative of horrible risk management.
Further, a settlement does not mean a precedent has been set that opens the door for any injury to sue and raise insurance rates across the board. They could agree to a no fault settlement where the rider gets his medical bills covered even though TDP is not considered to be at fault. Insurance rates might increase by a small amount as the companies re-calculate, but this is why insurance is held, to cover situations exactly like this. No legal precedent is set that TDPs are responsible for injuries because the settlement confirms it is not the responsibility of the TDP. It is also entirely possible (cannot know without all the facts) that the insurance company looked at the facts and decided that the TDP was (or at least was likely to be held) responsible for the claim so they refuse to fight it.
I can't comment whether the track day provider is at fault or not, that's extremely reliant on facts we do not have, but a business with unnecessarily expensive toys that then feels it has to crowdfund a legal defense using logical fallacies* to bolster their argment raises several red flags to me.

* Logical fallacies used:
Slippery Slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens, then eventually through a series of small steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too, basically equating A and Z. So, if we don't want Z to occur, A must not be allowed to occur either.

Straw Man: This move oversimplifies an opponent's viewpoint and then attacks that hollow argument.

Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism, religion, democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand. Often this is an appeal that presents what most people, or a group of people think, in order to persuade one to think the same way. Getting on the bandwagon is one such instance of an ad populum appeal.

Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A.'

I'm sure there are more, I just did a quick once-over and picked these ones out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
wow if the company owns a Ferrari and they do a $50k fundraiser, it is basically a scam fundraiser
I wouldn't stop there. There's also the company RV, the rider's/ team they sponsors for some MotoAmerica rounds, The R6 giveaway for this year . . . :emot-doh:. lol. You guys are drawing conclusions from incomplete information, same as me, difference is I've ridden with them and it's upsetting when someone knowingly rides knowing the risks, has sudden regret and begins pursuit of the blame game for cash. Especially knowing that the rider had been there before, it wasn't his first time: http://www.montereycountyweekly.com...cle_4cb0b73e-0f38-11e7-b0ee-3333689ec974.html.

Have you guys ever even ridden at the track?

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Even more info in page 3 here: http://pineconearchive.com/170324PCA.pdf
 

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it's upsetting when someone knowingly rides knowing the risks, has sudden regret and begins pursuit of the blame game for cash.
With exactly as much to support this narrative (which is practically none, as you seem to agree), I can say:
It's equally upsetting when a TDP (who has a duty of care to their clients) may have been grossly negligent, causing significant injury and damage to a client and refuses to accept responsibility.

But I think we can all agree that soliciting donations from the public to fund their defense indicates one of two scenarios:
1) The company is unable to pay for their own legal defense, whichsuggests a poorly managed company, or
2) The company has determined that it is so not responsible that it doesn't even feel that funding their own defense is their responsibility and now wants the entire riding community to fund them in what is easily considered a foreseeable running cost.
In either case, it strikes me as an extremely greasy move for a company to pull and if I rode with them, I would personally be inclined to find a better TDP to participate with.

If you think it's perfectly reasonable for a company to solicit donations for their running costs, then go ahead and donate. I'll be starting the "IronWarrior Wants to Buy a New Bike Company" which is accepting donations for running costs, please donate.
 
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