Top Gear America’s New Test Track is Being Sued by Former Driving Instructor
This comes after the death of two people at the SpeedVegas track.
In February, a fatal crash occurred during a driving event at SpeedVegas in Nevada. Two people lost their lives in the accident including a Canadian traveler and a company driving instructor. With the tourist at the wheel, the Lamborghini Aventador they were piloting spun off track, struck a barrier, and continued to catch on fire. The incident has been under review by SpeedVegas executives since, and according to Los Angeles Review-Journal, former driving instructor Francisco Durban has filed a lawsuit against SpeedVegas for being "unnecessarily dangerous." This news follows Top Gear America's announcement just five days ago that SpeedVegas would be the host track for the television series.
The report from Review-Journal claims that Durban is suing SpeedVegas LLC as well as land owner Scott Gragson. Durban was employed by the company from March 2016 until his eventual termination. He is quoted saying that the SpeedVegas track "is inherently, excessively and unnecessarily dangerous in design and operation.” He goes onto claim that some of the facility's cars were not maintained properly, including the Aventador that was involved in the February crash.
Durban says that some of the aftermarket equipment fitted to the car had been "subject to a safety recall," reports Jalopnik. The claimed conditions were “a threat to plaintiff, his co-workers as well as customers of SpeedVegas," according to Durban.
Review-Journal included this in their report of the lawsuit.
After the fatal crash that killed SpeedVegas driving instructor Gil Ben-Kely and Canadian tourist Craig Sherwood, other driving instructors, including Durban, were required to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, perform a road test on the track and sign an acknowledgment form that says, “every precaution has been taken to ensure my safety as well as the safety of our guests.”
Durban, who had asked track managers to move a concrete wall farther away from the track at the turn where the Aventador crashed and to install Formula One-TECPRO safety barriers, said his suggestions weren’t taken when the track reopened for business on Feb. 22. He refused to sign the acknowledgment form.
Durban says he was terminated by the company because of his refusal to work in "unsafe work conditions". He stated that the track needed to take on a list of major safety protocols in order for him to continue working at the facility.
SpeedVegas is reportedly reviewing Durban's claims, but is yet to release a statement regarding the case.