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7th Circuit issues U.S. Grand Prix ruling

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Race fans have a reason to watch the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today.

As the Indianapolis 500 weekend kicks off, the Circuit Court has issued a decision fitting the mood - one involving the notorious U.S. Grand Prix race in 2005. The unanimous decision today comes in Larry Bowers, Alan G. Symons, Carey Johnson, et al. v. Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, Formula One Administration Limited, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp., et al.

The ruling affirms a 2006 ruling from U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Baker in Indianapolis - she threw out the 10 class action suits that were consolidated into one action where fans sought punitive damages as well as compensatory damages for ticket costs, travel expenses and food.

Unhappy fans sued following the tire performance mishap two years ago, where all 14 cars running on Michelin tires withdrew from the race.

Judge Barker ruled that the fans had no basis for the lawsuit. "It's to be assumed that the Michelin teams made the decision they believed to be in their best competitive and professional interests, and in doing so, they owed no legal duty to let the preferences of the spectators trump their own good judgment," Judge Barker wrote.

In its 14-page ruling today, the three Circuit judges affirmed the dismissal of breach of contract and tortuous interference, promissory estoppel, and negligence claims.

"But while a six-car race under the Regulations may be less rich, interesting, or challenging than a 12-car race, it is not prohibited or nonsensical under the rules (like a soccer match between three teams or a basketball team getting a first down)," Circuit Judge Richard D. Cudahy wrote. "These rules cannot be interpreted to impose a 'minimum car' requirement. There is no reason to claim, as the plaintiffs in all seriousness do, that no race occurred."

He added that sports fans had to understand in this case that any number of events - such as dangerous track conditions, sudden illnesses, or an accident - could always prevent a driver from participating and that it would be unreasonable to expect otherwise.

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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