Panther Racing suit against IndyCar, Rahal Letterman tossed

March 27, 2015

A federal breach-of-contract lawsuit alleging damages of more than $17 million resulting from an IndyCar sponsorship dispute has been dismissed.

Panther Racing LLC sued Indy Racing League and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Docupak over Panther’s loss of a sponsorship agreement with the Army National Guard, which signed with Rahal Letterman for 2014. Panther Racing was unable to find a replacement sponsor and ceased IndyCar competition.  

District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Wednesday dismissed the suit  in its entirety. Panther also had been denied relief when it appealed the National Guard sponsorship deal to the Government Accountability Office.

Panther claimed IndyCar breached a 2013 sponsorship agreement by not providing exclusive Fan Village access to the National Guard, but Pratt found no such language in the contract. She also rejected claims that Rahal Letterman interfered with the contract and claims against all defendants for conversion, unjust enrichment and unfair competition and bid rigging.

"The Court finds that the 2013 Sponsorship Agreement did not grant Panther the exclusive right to provide sponsorship benefits, including access to the Fan Village, to (Army National Guard) in 2014, and therefore Panther has failed to state claims upon which relief may be granted for breach of contract, interference with contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, unfair competition and bid rigging," Pratt wrote.




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