Reporter Saw Details Of $2.4 Million Agreement
A Florida newspaper has published what it claims are
confidential details of the settlement of a lawsuit against NASCAR,
related to the crash of the organization's Cessna 310R in Florida
on July 10, 2007.
As ANN reported, NASCAR employee and pilot
Michael Klemm died, along with Dr. Bruce Kennedy, the husband of
International Speedway Corp. President Lesa France Kennedy, after
reporting smoke in the cockpit and attempting an emergency landing
at Sanford Orlando International Airport. The plane had been on a
short hop from Daytona Beach to Lakeland.
Klemm and Kennedy didn't make it -- they were on approach when
the plane reportedly veered right, hit a tree, then struck two
homes in a subdivision called The Preserve at Lake Monroe. There
were two severely burned residents and three additional fatalities
on the ground.
Attorney Eric Latinsky represented the pilot's widow, Wendy
Klemm, and the couple's three sons in a lawsuit seeking, in
Latinsky's words, "...to make sure the Klemm children could
continue their education and be taken care of... in light of losing
Michael at such a young age, how would (the sons) be able to attend
college in the future."
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports it reviewed court
documents indicating the three sons were ages 18, 21 and 23 at the
time of the accident. The paper said its reporter also saw a
handwritten note which read, "wrongful death claim approved," and
an indication the settlement amount was $2.4 million, one week
before the case file was sealed.
Latinsky declined to confirm the report, citing confidentiality.
NASCAR officials were quoted as being unaware of settlement
An electrical problem with the plane's radar system, and a
burning smell in the cockpit, had been reported a day before the
crash. The NTSB has not yet issued its report on probable cause for
the accident. NASCAR has issued its own 23-page report, discounting
the probability that the radar system issue played a role.
Latinsky says that while the settlement ends any further
litigation against NASCAR by the Klemm family, there could still be
lawsuits against manufacturers. Two adults and a small child on the
ground were also lost when the plane collided with the homes.