Be a spectator at your own risk - KMSP-TV

Be a spectator at your own risk

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It can happen at any game. A fan can get hit by a ball, a car, a player or even another fan. The question is, who is liable for any injuries sustained?

Legal experts are wondering who is liable for the crash that injured fans at Daytona International Speedway in February. It is likely that lawsuits will be filed by some of the more than 30 people injured when Kyle Larson's car went airborne, smashed into the catch fence and sent debris into the crowd during the final lap of the Nationwide Series race.

The lawsuits will come down to a few key elements:

1. Whether the waiver on the back of tickets that releases the track and NASCAR of liability is enforceable. 
2. Whether the fans sitting behind the fence should have known that debris such as a tire could hit them by possibly going through the fence. 
3. Whether the fence was constructed properly
4. Whether NASCAR conducted its race inspections and the race itself properly

Claims would be covered by the track's insurance. Fifty lawsuits were filed in 1999 after a tire sailed over the catch fence during an IndyCar race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, killing three spectators.

Our expert will talk about "exculpatory clauses," which are provisions in things like gym membership contracts that in essence say even if the facility is negligent (having a hole in the floor, loose boards, a ceiling that falls) the customer/member cannot be compensated for any damages.

Peter Riley, Personal Injury Attorney with Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben talked to FOX 9's Tim Blotz about the potential safety risks involved as a fan of a spectator sport.

Watch the video for more information.

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