Re: Porsche Carrera GT Crash Settled for $4.5
[quote author=gru link=topic=92594.msg1804914#msg1804914 date=1193229361]
The track shouldn't of had to pay shit as I'm sure those guys had to sign a waiver saying "If anything happens track/organizers are NOT responsible."
The idea that Porsche has a defective product because they didn't put PSM in that the CGT is laughable at best.
while I'm inclined to agree with you in my heart, thinking about it gets me to a different conclusion.
1) the track redesigned the layout, which created an unsafe condition. It's not like they just spun off and hit a wall and died, they spun off and hit a wall that apparantly should not have been there if the track was doing it's job correctly. As mentioned in the article, releases cover negligence but not gross negligence. Without seeing all the evidence we can't make a truly informed opinion about it, but if there was any evidence that the track either didn't consider the safety ramifications of the alteration, or if they DID consider it, recognized the danger, and then decided either to not fix it or to rely on unsatisfactory methods to mitigate the risk, then i think that is gross negligence.
Look at it this way: you sign a release when you go sky diving. If your chute suffers a common malfunction or just "one of those things" and you die, then that's part of the deal. If the instructor isn't paying enough attention to you, then again, sorry, thanks for playing. You signed a release. But if the sky diving company is knowingly using defective parachutes or if they are having a unsupervised kid on his first day on the job with no experience packing the chutes, then that's over the line of negligence and becomes gross negligence. You can sign away a lot of rights with a waiver, and you certainly agree not to sue for negligence, but there is an understanding in such an agreement that the company won't knowingly do something to fuck you over.
moving a barrier on a race track and either knowing that it's unsafe or not bothering to even think about the safety are, to me, over that line.
2) you have to look at what the company reasonably should have known. They know that they have a car with shitloads of power. They know that it oversteers (as it should, dammit, it's a badass supercar). And they know that most of the cars will be bought by rich idiots with more money than brains. They KNOW this, or at least any reasonable person SHOULD know it. They also have a technology that they can use to mitigate the risks of this somewhat. Seriously: under normal LEGAL driving conditions, would you have a reason to push the car the limit of PSM kicking in and ruining the drive? Most of the time, absolutely not. In the rain or in an emergency situation, it can save your life. But on a back road or on the track? You can just push a button and turn it off.
And that's where I think Porsche failed the test. They decided not to include it, knowing that the car would be WAY over the ability of most drivers to handle safely at the limit. If you don't like it, you can always turn it off.
Do I think they still would have gotten sued if it could be turned off? Sure, but I think it would be a lot easier to convince a jury that you're not responsible if you give the driver a tool that he chooses not to use than if you decide not to give it to him at all.