The United States Court of Appeals has refused to reinstate suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield's lawsuit against NASCAR; the latest setback in a series of legal decisions to go against Mayfield in the last three years.
Mayfield was suspended from competition in 2009 after failing a random drug test that allegedly found methamphetamine in his system. He alleged a false positive result caused by a mixture of the over-the-counter allergy medication Claritin-D and a prescription drug, Adderall, taken to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. He also sued NASCAR for defamation of character, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract and negligence, saying the sport’s substance abuse testing policy was flawed and failed to follow federal guidelines. U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen ruled that Mayfield had waived his right to sue when he signed an application to be a NASCAR driver and team owner.
Mayfield appealed that decision, but the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Mullen was correct in dismissing Mayfield's complaint. Judges Roger Gregory, Barbara Milano Keenan and Liam O'Grady ruled unanimously against Mayfield, with Gregory writing “the liability waiver is enforceable under Florida law."
Today’s ruling was the latest in a series of legal setbacks for Mayfield, who has repeatedly claimed to be the subject of a conspiracy involving NASCAR, local police and sheriff’s departments. He currently faces multiple felony charges in the aftermath of a Catawba County Sherriff’s Department raid on his home last November, which allegedly discovering 1.5 grams of methamphetamine in a locked safe. Four additional indictments were handed down in Catawba County, NC, last month; three counts of possessing stolen property and one count of obtaining property by false pretenses. He also faces four counts of felony larceny in nearby Caldwell County.
NASCAR Senior Vice President for Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell commented on the latest court decision, saying, “This case was never about anything more than NASCAR's ability to keep the sport clean and our competitors safe.”