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Author Topic: Bianchi family starts legal action aginst F1 over Jules death  (Read 4056 times)

Offline Jericoke

Re: Bianchi family starts legal action aginst F1 over Jules death
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2016, 08:26:59 PM »
This is a horrible situation and I'm not judging a family that has lost a very young man.
However, no amount of money will bring him back, plus the sport has taken even more steps to improve safety after the incident. Finally, it was an 'accident'. Jules was driving too fast (the data proved this) and then he was just really unlucky; two metres left or right and he would have survived. There was no negligence or blatant stupidity - just an unlucky accident. It seems wrong to try to 'go legal'.

I've read in other cases that for insurance companies to pay out, there has to be an investigation into if something went wrong or not.  Perhaps this is the only way for Bianchi's family to get their due.  They're not really trying to get their pound of flesh from the track, but rather jumping through hoops to get what they've earned from insurance, with Suzuka et al. being simple playing pieces.

Offline Scott

Re: Bianchi family starts legal action aginst F1 over Jules death
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2016, 08:39:38 PM »
The FIA already had their own investigation.  They discovered that as soon as they could pin the blame on the guy lying in the hospital bed, there was nothing more to discuss.
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline Alianora La Canta

Re: Bianchi family starts legal action aginst F1 over Jules death
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2016, 01:01:26 AM »
In case any of you are wondering why I didn't comment on this earlier... I have to be careful what I say about this, as I am in correspondence with some of the lawyers involved in this case. (And before anyone asks, none of the legal teams involved have hired me - yet). So I'm trying not to say anything that isn't either in, or reasonably easily derivable from, information in the public domain.

There are a few things I probably should say for the sake of clearing up some confusion:

John S: racing drivers accept the risk of accidental injuries and fatalities. So do the Bianchis. They simply don't regard Jules' accident as being in that category. In an interview he did with Auto Hebdo on 23 December 2015, Phillipe Bianchi said:

"Jules n'a pas été victime d'un accident comparable à celui de Justin Wilson, par example, qui fut un fait de course (sur l'ovale de Pocono, Pennsylvanie, en août dernier, lors de l'avant-dernière manche d'Indycar. Ndlr). Ces fameux risques du métier. Ce qui est loin d'être le cas de celui de Jules."

As far as I can translate into English: "Jules has not suffered a similar accident to that of Justin Wilson, for example, who was racing (on the Pocono oval, Pennsylvania in August, during the penultimate round of the Indycar series. Editor's note). These famous occupational hazards. This is far from the case for Jules."

Besides, a family which had experienced one of its members die (Lucien, Jules' great-uncle, in the 1969 Le Mans) and another get badly burnt (Mauro, Jules' grandfather, in the 1968 version - that Lucien won) long before Jules was born is hardly going to be under any illusions about the degree of natural hazard it possesses. They're more bothered about the unnatural hazards...

cosworth151, I am surprised that there is nothing in the FIA's written regulations that indemnifies them. But there isn't, as far as I can tell. My guess is that it's in the fine print of the Superlicences, since that effectively acts as a driver's access to F1 races. It will certainly also be on the passes that everyone with paddock access is required to wear.

This works well against regular incidents. Any injury lawyer worth their salt knows this, and will advise their client to settle or plain drop the case in such circumstances. However, the law in many countries, including France (where the FIA is based) and England (where FOM and Marussia - Russian license notwithstanding - is/was based) prevents anyone from being indemnified against negligence of reasonable actions reducing the risk of egregious injury/death. And this is why the disclaimer doesn't work well in court - the cases that get to court are almost always ones where the disclaimer had already been tested by the appellant's counsel and found wanting. Disclaimers are good at stopping cases from reaching court in the first place, rather than for granting "not guilty" verdicts to respondents already in court. Again, it's the difference between natural and unnatural risk.

J. Clark, the scheduling of races, in the normal calendar/intended timing sense, is FOM's responsibility. The FIA can object if the race is unsafe or its national sporting authority hasn't paid its dues to the FIA (or if someone involved is otherwise in bad standing with the FIA). Only once the calendar is signed off does FOM lose responsibility for when a race is run. (In unusual situations, such as the last-minute negotiations Suzuka 2014 experienced, it appears both FOM and FIA were involved. If a misstep occurred there, either or both could be in trouble).

As for Marussia... ...a safety car component failed. It's natural that they be brought into the case, even if it's only to find out why that happened.

There are several points from others of you that I want to answer... ...and perhaps when all this settled down, I'll be able to do so. I hate that I have to write these words. I hate this whole scenario.
Percussus resurgio
@lacanta (Twitter)
http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

Offline Scott

Re: Bianchi family starts legal action aginst F1 over Jules death
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2016, 06:48:10 AM »
Thanks for the update Ali, and proud to hear that 'one of ours' has been involved in some of the discussions (I 'm surprised that you don't have an executive role at the FIA by now).  We'll look forward to an insiders guide to the trial upon its completion.

Wink if they're using my approach  :D
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline cosworth151

Re: Bianchi family starts legal action aginst F1 over Jules death
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2016, 12:51:51 PM »
Thanks very much, Ali. It's great to have your insights on this (and everything else.) You do a fantastic job of clarifying the finer points of the rules and the law.

I hope somebody involved in the case has the good sense to bring you on board.   :good:
“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan

Offline Alianora La Canta

Re: Bianchi family starts legal action aginst F1 over Jules death
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2017, 12:40:13 PM »
I realise this topic has cobwebs in it, but there's been an important update. It looks like we have an amicable settlement.

I want to wait for the dust to settle before commenting further, but you've been supportive of me and deserve to be kept up-to-date (especially since the press and the FIA don't seem interested in picking up on this item for some reason).
Percussus resurgio
@lacanta (Twitter)
http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

Offline cosworth151

Re: Bianchi family starts legal action aginst F1 over Jules death
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2017, 01:28:58 PM »
Thanks. Ali. The Bianchi family have done a wonderful thing with this settlement.
“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan

 


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