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Bianchi family launches legal action

NEWS STORY
26/05/2016

The family of Jules Bianchi, has today announced they plan to take legal action in England relating to the fatal injuries Jules Bianchi sustained in a collision with a mobile crane at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, 2014.

Stewarts Law, acting for the Bianchi family, has this week sent formal pre-action letters of claim to:

The FIA

Team Marussia, who Bianchi was driving for at the time

The Formula One Group of companies, who control the TV and media rights for the sport.

The letters explain why the Bianchi family feel the actions of one or more of those parties, amongst others, may have contributed to Jules' fatal accident and invite them to accept that errors were made in the planning, timing, organisation and conduct of the race which took place in dangerous conditions during the typhoon season in Japan.

The recipients of the letters of claim will be expected to respond in due course, to explain their actions in connection with the race and to indicate if they dispute the claim.

"Jules Bianchi's death was avoidable," said Stewarts Law partner Julian Chamberlayne, who is representing the Bianchi family. "The FIA Panel Inquiry Report into this accident made numerous recommendations to improve safety in Formula One but failed to identify where errors had been made which led to Jules' death. It was surprising and distressing to the Bianchi family that the FIA panel in its conclusions, whilst noting a number of contributing factors, blamed Jules.

"The Bianchi family are determined that this legal process should require those involved to provide answers and to take responsibility for any failings. This is important if current and future drivers are to have confidence that safety in the sport will be put first. If this had been the case in Suzuka, Jules Bianchi would most likely still be alive and competing in the sport he loved today."

Prominent individuals in the world of Formula One, including current and former drivers and world champions, have criticised the conduct of the race.

"We seek justice for Jules," said Philippe Bianchi, Jules' father, "and want to establish the truth about the decisions that led to our son's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014. As a family, we have so many unanswered questions and feel that Jules' accident and death could have been avoided if a series of mistakes had not been made."

Jules Bianchi's parents, Philippe and Christine, have set up a charitable organisation in his memory which will support young, aspiring motorsport drivers to realise their potential. They will this weekend be attending the Monaco Grand Prix, a race which had a special place in Jules' life, to promote the work of the charitable organisation and its future plans.

The family has previously spoken of being unable to watch Formula One because of the pain caused by their son's death, but have decided to travel to Monaco this weekend to champion their work to support young drivers and improve safety in the sport.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by bfairey, 27/05/2016 16:42

"Who crashed onto who? Bianchi into the crane or the crane into Bianchi?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Redphyve, 27/05/2016 12:39

"From my admittedly limited understanding, I thought all the protocols were in place and the actions taken by Charlie and race committee at the time were carefully thought out and acted upon. What could not be taken into the account were the incident that led to the accident, the position of the incident and the recovery vehicles, the car, the driver and the conditions both on and off the track.

I believe a combination of these circumstances led to this accident, none of which could have been foreseen by anyone. I don't think that anyone was negligent. It was an accident."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by inoffapost, 26/05/2016 20:05

"I find it unsavoury too. Always the blame culture. How are Marussia to blame? Because they let him drive the car? There were failings to be sure. The race started too late in poor conditions and the use of these recovery vehicles whilst cars still circulate has always been a contentious issue. But I thought the data from the car clearly showed he was still moving quickly, too quickly given the prevailing circumstances.
F1 is still a rich sport so maybe they just want to get a settlement for the charity they have set up but I don't think a witch-hunt is what Bianchi would have wanted. TV pressure, as always, made the timing of the race given weather conditions inappropriate. Who is responsible for that? Bernie. The system for the recovery of cars has functioned up until that point (with some near misses) so that must be an FIA thing. But the fact remains he was still too quick and lost the car on standing water. I really don't think this action will help the family. Feels and smells too much like ambulance chasing. I understand, but can't agree with it."

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4. Posted by edllorca, 26/05/2016 16:10

"This is really shameful. Will not solve a thing. Society in general has lost the concept of personal responsibility always blaming someone else. Used to be an American thing, now it is spreading to Europe."

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5. Posted by mittagongcalling, 26/05/2016 13:20

"Double yellows waved SLOW DOWN!!!!!!!"

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6. Posted by F One, 26/05/2016 12:03

"Completely absurd. The crash was entirely his own fault. If he hadn't been going way too fast it wouldn't have happened. Nothing to be compensated for."

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