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Victim's Mom Sues in Deadly Desert Race Disaster

12/29/2010 9:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

The mother of a man killed when an off-road driver plowed into a crowd of spectators at the California 200 desert race is suing the man behind the wheel -- claiming the tragedy could have been avoided with proper safety measures.

Andrew Therrien

In a lawsuit filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, Doris Levinson claims her son Andrew Therrien was watching the race with his 3-year-old daughter back in August when driver Brett Sloppy lost control of his 5,000 pound truck and barreled towards the crowd.

Levinson claims ... as the truck approached Andrew and his daughter, Andrew managed to shove the little girl out of harms way -- but he wasn't so lucky ... and died from the injuries he sustained from impact. Seven other people also died in the crash.


Levinson claims Sloppy and the company behind the race -- MDR Productions -- were negligent, careless and reckless ... because they failed to take proper safety precautions.

Levinson claims Andrew's daughter sustained "severe emotional distress and mental suffering" due to the incident.

Levinson is suing on behalf of her granddaughter and her son's estate -- she's asking for unspecified damages.
122 COMMENTS

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91.

TheUltraworld    

She has no one to sue. The driver's insurance wont cover a racing event. He has no money. Usually they sue the promoter, but he's broke too. The son's estate should sue that mother for bad parenting that resulted in his death.

1392 days ago
92.

eric    

She will win because he will not have enough money to afford a good lawyer who will research this... JUST LIKE in ever other wrongful death case. I remember when the news said the speed limit was 25MPH in that zone... but, what they failed to mention was the 25MPH zone was for non racers!!!!!

1392 days ago
93.

Rachel    

This is just wrong. I understand she is devastated, but these things happen when people do not take precautions for themselves. We are out there ALL the time and stand WAYYYY back because accidents are bound to happen. You have to accept personal responsibility. And to the person who thinks it's ABSURD that there are no barriers....it's the MIDDLE OF THE DESERT....wide open. These races are MILES long and take hours to complete. People stand on the sides....it's your fault if you're standing to close. You know the risks when you are out there.

1392 days ago
94.

Dash     

Maybe next time they'll take their kids to the zoo and stand inside the lions cage. Awwww what a pretty kitty LOL.

1392 days ago
95.

Carerra Bandito    

I've been to many races in Lucerne CA and I've taken my now 11yo daughter to them since she was 1. We have seen many accidents there and my daughter was never ever close enough to be in any harm because I used COMMON SENSE to watch the race from a safe distance. Todays crowd goes to these races with their head in their butt and they feel that they have touch the race vehicles?..Why?...Where is the common sense and add alcohol to the people watching the event, well there is no good judgement at all then.
I'm sure Andrew was a great guy, just as is Mr. Sloppy but the fact is, common sense should have been excersied by a responsible father for the safety of him and his daughter.
Lord knows I exercise common sense for my family and myself during any race event and we will continue to support and enjoy off road racing.

1392 days ago
96.

Rachel    

I agree. Of course the family is devastated and wants/needs someone to blame. That's to be expected. It was an accident. The young man should have been more responsible and not stood so close. So thankful he saved his daughter. We will be out there this weekend! Being Safe.

1392 days ago
97.

turbotexas    

The young man made the decision to ignore the 50ft. rule, he also made the choice to risk his daughters life by forcing her to accompany him to the "danger zone"
In NO FREAKING WAY is the Driver responsible for this man's misfortune...MOM Take responsibility that YOU didn't raise him with enough common sense and do a better JOB with your precious grand daughter
Next time a home run baseball strikes a spectator will they be able to sue the pitcher and the batter for negligence???

1391 days ago
98.

pair    

This lawsuit will be a game changer for the future of off road racing. I sincerely doubt Andrew would want to be remembered as the guy whose "thrill seeking" caused a lawsuit that destroyed the sport of off road racing.

1391 days ago
99.

Arielle Jochimsen    

HOW ABOUT ALL YOU ****ING IDIOTS SHUT THE **** UP!!! READ ALL THE COMMENTS BEFORE YOU THROW IN YOUR TWO CENTS BECAUSE YOU OBVIOUSLY DO NOT HAVE YOUR **** STRAIGHT. Y'ALL DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT READ THE STORIES AND GET THE TRUTH IE THE ESPN MAG THIS MONTH. AND YET AGAIN I AM STATING DORI IS NOT SUING BRETT SLOPPY SHE IS SUEING THE PROMOTERS!!! YOU ARE ALL STUPID ****ING MORONS AND HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. GET A ****ING LIFE AND FORGET ABOUT MY BELOVED FRIEND ANDREW YOU DO NOT NEED TO TALK ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS NOT HERE TO STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES AND NIETHER DORI OR ANDREW ARE ANY OF THE CRUEL NAMES YOU ARE CALLING THEM...

1391 days ago
100.

pair    

Arielle do you think this was MDR's fault? If so Why?

1391 days ago
101.

RCR    

You know 5000 lbs trucks will be zipping by at race speed so you move as close to the track as possible you get hurt or killed now you want to sue because you were stupid lmao

Race owners should sue the victims family because of the lost revenue the spectators caused his company.

Sue baby sue the American way!

1391 days ago
102.

zero619    

I grew up going to these races. In the states and baja. As a kid we used to run out on to the track after every vehicle that passed. Im pretty damn sure people still do it like that to this day. My bother lost 4 good friends to this accident and also knew the driver of the truck. Im sure that those that died would not be wanting there family to sue. You go to these races knowing the risks involved and its something you have to deal with when things don't always go as planned. I feel for this family and the other family's and all that are involved but suing isnt the answer, Unless he answer is to get these races shut down that would just be a shame. I guarantee the were all standing way to close to the track. But like I said thats a risk they knowingly took.

1391 days ago
103.

jess    

even though she may be wasting her time, at least she is fighting for what is right. She may not win, but she will help set a standard for the better safety requirements that may save someones life in the future. Deep condolences to the family of the victims.

1391 days ago
104.

Arielle Jochimsen    

Yes I do believe it was MDR's fauld because they should have put up borders I went to a race about a month after he passed and they had cops flying in helocopters and walking around and there was tape put up to keep people back and everyone did. They should have had up borders where there were people and if there was I do not believe as many people would have gotten hurt and especially Andrew because he would have stayed back if there were borders.

1391 days ago
105.

TheFedupCitizen    

To all of the rocket scientists badmouthing those of us pointing out the complete lack of common sense,I want you to remember one thing. When, and if this preposterous case ever sees the inside of the courtroom, "WE" are the jury that will be deciding the fate of the case. Good Luck!

1391 days ago
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