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Lawsuits pursued by survivors of San Diego race accident victims

More than a dozen lawsuits have already been filed in connection with the horrific off-road racing accident that occurred in the Mojave Desert just over a year-and-a-half ago.

Four of the eight people killed in that incident were residents of San Diego County, and their survivors are among those pursuing wrongful death lawsuits or other claims against multiple parties, including the driver of the modified truck that crushed race spectators, Mojave Desert Racing, Inc. (the organizers of the race) and the federal government.

Because both the driver and MDR were underinsured for a catastrophe of this magnitude, plaintiffs will most likely try to establish that the federal government, as the owner of the land, had a duty to supervise the event and to enforce its own rules, which would have prevented the accident. A lawyer for one of the plaintiffs who have filed suit said the government had "the bulk of the responsibility" and didn't do its job.

The mother of the man who was driving the truck has also filed a lawsuit seeking damages for the emotional distress she suffered from witnessing the accident, hearing the screams of injured spectators afterward and watching as an "an angry mob of people (reviled) her son as he was upside down in his truck."

The California Highway Patrol's official report released in Dec. 2011 found that the truck's impact with a rock at the bottom of a jump caused its steering components to fail, which left the driver with no way to control the vehicle in time to avoid hitting spectators.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune, "Off-road racing accident spawns lawsuits," J. Harry Jones, March 10, 2012

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