Mayfield filing claims lawsuit about regaining reputation
In his latest court filing, Jeremy Mayfield rebuts NASCAR’s claim that he is trying to extort a settlement from the sanctioning body in a lawsuit over a disputed May 2009 drug test that NASCAR said was positive for methamphetamine.
|Mayfield alleges Brian France (above) was out to destroy him for personal reasons|
Mayfield’s final appeal brief was submitted by attorney Daniel Marino late Monday night in the U.S. Court of Appeals and takes NASCAR to task over its characterization of Mayfield’s legal pursuit over what Mayfield claims is a false positive resulting from a combination of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
“This case is not, as [NASCAR officials] falsely claim, an attempt to ‘extort a settlement’ from [them], but rather [the Mayfields’] attempt to regain the reputation and livelihood wrongfully stripped from them,” Mayfield’s filing states.
Three appeals court judges will eventually decide whether Mayfield should be allowed to continue with his case. U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen dismissed Mayfield’s claims in May 2010, ruling that Mayfield could not sue because of waivers that he had signed to compete in Cup. The judge questioned the strength of Mayfield’s evidence.
Mayfield, who has 433 career Cup starts with five victories but has been suspended for the last two years for the alleged failed drug test, is seeking to have the case reinstated so he can continue to investigate his claims and proceed toward trial. Mayfield is suing for breach of contract, defamation and unfair trade practices. He has not specified an amount of money he is seeking.
The appeals judges will decide in the upcoming months if a hearing is necessary to make a ruling. If there is a hearing, the next available hearing date for the court, based in Richmond (Va.), is in the Sept. 20-23 session.
Monday’s brief was filed in response to NASCAR’s appeal brief filed last month, which reiterated the NASCAR position that it had reasonable proof that Mayfield had a positive test for methamphetamines and that it did not have to follow federal drug-testing guidelines despite requiring its lab, Aegis Sciences Corp., to be a lab certified to test federal employees.
Mayfield argues that NASCAR “knew or should have known that their statements characterizing Mayfield as a user of illegal drugs were false and that [NASCAR] made them maliciously and with the specific intent to injure” Mayfield.
In its filing Monday, Mayfield stressed the arguments that NASCAR:
• Failed to ensure the integrity and identity of his specimen.
• Failed to follow contractually required procedures or to guard against obvious shortcomings and hazards in the collection and testing process.
• Ignored medical information reported by Mayfield and corroborated by records provided by his physician confirming that he had recently been prescribed Adderall and had recently ingested two Claritin-D pills, which could have explained a positive result.
• Refused to provide Mayfield with the alleged results of the tests.
• Hindered Mayfield’s ability to obtain an independent test of his B sample and thereby confirm or refute the claimed result.
• Misrepresented the standards and procedures that would be employed in implementing the substance-abuse policy and failed to provide notice to Mayfield of his rights or responsibilities in connection with his drug test.
• Failed to specify in advance which drugs were prohibited.
Mayfield also wants permission to include in his lawsuit allegations that NASCAR Chairman Brian France ordered him to be parked during the 2006 Brickyard 400. His then-team owner, Ray Evernham, has said in court documents that NASCAR never told him to park the car. Scenedaily.com