Personal Injury Lawsuit Filed Against Texas Motor Speedway Following Recreational Vehicle Accident Involving Two 11-Year-Old Boys

The family of an 11-year-old boy who had to be airlifted to a hospital for serious injuries sustained when a race car ran him over at the Lil' Texas Motor Speedway in October has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Texas Motor Speedway and its affiliates.

Ryan Davis was playing touch football with friends in a parking lot during an end-of-the-season Little League celebration at the Speedway's Lone Star Legends attraction when another 11-year-old boy lost control of a 500-pound race car, spun off track and hit him.

A Star-Telegram story detailed that Ryan was immediately airlifted to a Fort Worth children's medical center for severe head trauma, broken bones and scrapes, and spent the next 60 hours in intensive care.

Screws had to be inserted into Ryan's legs to hold his bones together, a tube was placed in his brain to drain fluid, and a feeding tube was put in his stomach, according to his mother Karen Davies' online diary.

Mrs. Davies also wrote that her still-hospitalized son is only now beginning to learn how to use his tongue to form words again.

William and Karen Davies are suing the Speedway on behalf of their son's physical injuries and the family's emotional trauma, lost wages and attorney fees following the accident.

They allege in their Texas personal injury lawsuit that TMS did not adequately train their employees on safety issues, entrusted a vehicle to a minor and failed to have adequate barriers to protect people in the parking lot.

These three points of contention should draw some interesting debates from both sides during the lawsuit.

For safety and liability reasons, the Speedway requires that children's parents sign indemnification waivers prior to racing.

While Mr. Davies signed a waiver for Ryan to participate in a race, it is unknown at this point whether the parents of the child driver who hit Ryan signed a similar waiver.

The Speedway also provided members of the baseball team and their parents 20 minutes of safety instructions prior to being loaded in the race cars.

The family's Texas personal injury attorney and the Speedway's lawyer have already begun to cite their different opinions about whether the Bandolero race car is a proper vehicle for a minor.

According to the TMS Web site, the Bandolero is a small racer designed for drivers as young as eight years old and as old as 16 years of age. It can reach speeds of 40 mph to 70 mph. The TMS attorney likened the Bandolero to a go-kart while the personal injury lawyer of the boy's family countered that it was a race car and not a proper vehicle for children.

Determining whether TMS failed to have adequate barriers to protect people in the parking lot is another difficult aspect of this case. The 11-year-old boy driver accelerated, lost control of the Bandolero and missed the entrance to the track before the vehicle spun around, headed into the parking lot and ran over Ryan.

The TMS attorney cited the speedway's "very accident-free record" when responding to the lawsuit.

TMS officials described the incident as an "unfortunate accident" and offered their thoughts and prayers to the boy and his family in an e-mail statement.

While certainly unfortunate, this case reveals how complicated personal injury lawsuits involving motor vehicles can be, whether they involve rare recreational vehicle accidents or more common automobile accidents.

Regardless of what happens in this case, one hopes that young Ryan Davies will be able to recover, return home and live as normal a life as possible.

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