SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Attorneys for IndyCar driver Alex Palou have filed a motion for the lawsuit against him by Chip Ganassi Racing to be moved to federal court.
The motion is said to be a push to remove the case from local jurisdiction over impartiality concerns since Ganassi is based in Indianapolis. Right now the case is in the hands of Marion Superior Court.
Palou’s lawyers have asked that case be moved to the U.S. District Court of Southern Indiana. That court is also based in Indianapolis but must adhere to federal policy on how it would try the case.
“Plaintiff brings, among other claims, claims for breach of contract and seeks as remedies injunctive relief and specific performance, seeking to force Alex Palou to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing, LLC in the 2023 IndyCar Season,” Palou’s lawyers wrote.
“Here, at a minimum, the contracts that Plaintiff purport to seek to enforce are worth in excess of the jurisdictional threshold of $75,000. Further, the amount at stake for Plaintiff is at least the value of Alex Palou’s driving efforts in 2023, and Defendants’ pecuniary stake in complying with Plaintiff’s requested relief is, at least, the difference in value between Alex Palou’s potential contract payments from Ganassi for 2023 and potential contract payments earned by racing for a different racing team for the 2023 season and beyond.”
The motion for a change of venue will undoubtedly slow the process of litigation down, which Ganassi’s lawyers appear to not want since they would like the case to be heard before the end of August.
Palou may also be planning to file a counterclaim against Ganassi for defamation.
“Additionally, Defendants currently anticipate asserting non-contractual counterclaims, including at least for defamation,” Palou’s lawyers wrote. “The damages Defendants will seek on these counterclaims will exceed $75,000.”
Palou is being sued by Chip Ganassi Racing, whom he currently races for, for breach of contract after he signed a contract to race for McLaren Racing next season. Ganassi argues they had extended Palou’s contract with them before Palou signed the McLaren deal.
It’s clear, Palou has aspirations to race in Formula One in the near future.
“We are disappointed that Chip Ganassi Racing would attempt to keep Alex from an opportunity to compete in Formula One, and even more so with CGR’s public court filings and continued commentary to the press on this matter,” Palou’s attorney’s added in a statement. “Alex has consistently given his very best effort to CGR and it is unfortunate that CGR would attempt to deny Alex this opportunity.”
Palou said he has not spoken directly to team owner Chip Ganassi about the situation since the court battle began.