24-year-old Willie Valadez Ramirez was killed when a dragster left the track and went into the crowd of spectators at an event near Fabens, TX. His parents, Adelia Valadez and Francisco Valadez, filed a lawsuit after the tragic event. Trial is scheduled to begin Monday morning, January 8th. Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit, school teachers Alma Erives and Jesus Parra, were seriously injured, and Irene Amaya is bringing the case on behalf of an injured minor child.
Jury selection will take place on Friday, January 5th, at 9 am in the 41st District Court of El Paso County, with Judge Annabell Perez presiding. The trial is scheduled to start the following Monday morning. The defendants include the event promoter, Moreton Productions, operated by Felipe Rangel of Fabens. Also named in the suit is Rock Solid Protection, the security company hired by Moreton to provide crowd control.
The plaintiffs contend that the barriers designed to protect the crowd were inadequate, and the security company allowed spectators into the safety setback zone. There was a pipe fence separating the crowd from the race track, but spectators were supposed to be kept about 20 feet away from the railing, behind a chalk line. The plaintiffs claim that the security company failed to enforce that safety precaution. In court filings, the defendants have blamed the driver of the car that lost control and the spectators for ignoring the warnings to stay away from the pipe rail. The plaintiffs are seeking up to 60 million dollars in damages. The trial is expected to last all next week.
Kevin Glasheen, an attorney with Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers, the law firm representing the Valadez family, said, “This was an amateur event that was poorly planned. At least the promoters hired a professional security company to keep the crowd safe, but even they failed. It’s outrageous that the defendants are blaming the spectators and refusing to take any responsibility for this disaster.”
Alma Erives and Jesus Parra are represented by El Paso attorney Humberto Enriquez. Irene Amaya and her minor child are represented by The Huynh Law Firm of El Paso.
The Valadez family can be reached through their attorney, Kevin Glasheen, at 806-789-0734. Mr. Scott Smith of El Paso is the owner of Rock Solid Protection Security. They are being defended by attorney Drew Thomas of Dallas.