Friday, December 19, 2008

Let's hope settlement isn't the end

The lawyer for Mauricia Grant, the former Nationwide Series official who sued NASCAR for $225 million for racial discrimination and sexual harassment, says his client is pleased with the settlement reached in that suit.

"She'd been out of work a long time," Benedect Morelli told the Associated Press on Friday. "We thought it was in the best interest of our client not to drag this out two to three years. She needed closure. She's a young woman, and when you make the sort of allegations she did, it's difficult to move forward and get on with your life."

Both sides agreed to keep the settlement terms confidential and neither side admitted wrongdoing in the settlement, reached after mediation that was suggested by the judge in the case.

Morelli also told the AP he though NASCAR "wanted to put this behind them, as well."

I hope he’s wrong about that.

The thing that bothered me all along since Grant filed her suit in June was that NASCAR never substantively denied the thrust of lurid allegations leveled in the complaint.

It said Grant never reported the hostile treatment she was getting to her supervisors (Grant says she did). Some officials also hinted that Grant’s suit had no merit because she was a willing participant in the jokes and other behavior she wound up complaining about.

Legally, that might be a defense. In reality though, that makes it no less reprehensible, I don’t care how much "fun" a bunch of people think they’re having, when the atmosphere is such that attacking others over their sex, their color, their nationality, their religion or their physical appearance you’re setting yourself up for trouble.

Let’s hope this lawsuit leads to a commitment from NASCAR to ensure that its officials treat each other with more respect and more dignity than what was apparently happening between January 2005 and October 2007 when Grant worked there.

That’s the least the sport should settle for.

* * *

The IndyCar Series race in Detroit, the Belle Isle Grand Prix, won’t be held this year on Labor Day weekend. The American LeMans Series race that week also has been scrapped.

The decision came after Detroit city and Michigan state officials talked with sponsors and decided the auto industry crisis made it prudent not to go forward.

"We don't want to conduct an event we are not proud of," event chairman Bud Denker said. "Right now, the whole industry – manufacturers, sponsors, workers – they are going through some pain. The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix has been a labor of love for me. Hopefully, we can be back in 2010."

* * *

Dan Stillman will be crew chief for Carl Edwards’ No. 60 Fords in the Nationwide Series next year, replacing Drew Blickensderfer. Blickensderfer has moved on to become crew chief for Matt Kenseth’s Sprint Cup car.

Stillman was crew chief for Regan Smith’s Sprint Cup team at Dale Earnhardt Inc. last season.


Monkeesfan said...

Come off it, guys. Grant had no realistic case. "NASCAR never substantively denied the thrust of lurid allegations." They didn't have to because they were too lurid to be credible on their face.

Anonymous said...

Monkeesfan....Hear this, loudly and clearly.
Your attitude and way of thinking are exactly the reason NASCAR remains mired in social conflict and contraversy.
How could you possibly KNOW what kind of a case Ms. Grant had?

She had a case, all right and today, she is bruised and abused, but very wealthy woman who was rightly and, hopefully, well compensated for the treatment to which she was exposed.

Her very realistic case was settled by a very contrite NASCAR.

Too lurid, sir? Too lurid.

One of the most lurid things about this entire matter is your totally racist, totally ignorant, totally stupid and totally unacceptable outlook on most subjects about which you write.

You are opinionated and self centered.

I do not like you or anything you say.

I wish I could sue you for being an asshole.

Anonymous said...


I always find it interesting that those who are the first to jump up and down about someone being offended are the FIRST to call others names and offend.

It appears you can not make an argument based on the facts but instead feel the need to insult others whose opinions do not exactly match yours. It is truly sad you can not involve yourself in an intellectual conversation with others of differing opinions and not stoop to the level of calling others profane names. Shame is on YOU.

The REAL facts are Miss Grant made allegations and others refuted the allegations. None of us were there to actually hear what was said. I was really hoping NASCAR would fight the entire case to the end. That would have been the ONLY way for all the facts to be revealed so we all would REALLY know what went on and who said what.

I'm afraid whether NASCAR thought it was right or wrong, in today's pansy-fied America where people have made a sport of being offended, they would lose. It really is even worse than that. They settled and now they are ASSUMED guilty.

At the end of the day let us all remember, an accusation does not a fact make. Shall I remind you of the Duke Lacrosse team members being accused of some of the worst acts men could ever be involved in? Just the accusation placed a cloud over those guys that will take a very long time to overcome.

If anything the entire situation raises more questions than answers. If Miss Grant's allegations are true and she was offended for years and years, why only after being fired did she find the need to sue NASCAR? On the other hand, if NASCAR did nothing wrong, why were Mr. Knox and Mr. Moore fired with NO explanation?

Under the veil of secrecy that is NASCAR, we shall never know the REAL answers.

Anonymous said...

Hey crazy second poster lady,

Sit on it.

Your friends,


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hey NASCAR....

"Show Ms. Grant THE MONEY and clean up your rascist, sexist act".

David Poole, I agree with your sentiments. It is a shame they are wasted on the "unwashed".

Mike Hutton said...

By legal standards, this mediated settlement happened very quickly from the date of the complaint being filed. That tells me one of two things:

1) When confronted with Ms. Grant's case, NASCAR realized that they in no way wanted this to go to trial, have details become public and then be at the mercy of a jury. It was worth whatever they settled upon to avoid that embarrasment. This option would indicate that Ms. Grant had a terrific case.


2) Ms. Grant had a pretty good case, was satisfied with the proposed settlement and wanted to be done with the matter.

I hope that NASCAR will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that all employees are given a workplace free of these types of alleged acts. Whether that means they have to take one step or 1000 steps, just take them.

'Doug' is correct when he says that "an accusation does not a fact make," so we'll never be certain about the state of affairs, but it's a damn good wake-up call.

Anonymous said...

No one posting here knows what the facts are and which side had the better case - and no one knows what sort or amount of settlement there was. The one clear fact is that Mr. Morelli is in the business of suing, most likely on a contingency basis, and it is always possible that he was not willing to invest any more time and money in a case he decided he could not win. There is always the possibility that NASCAR was only willing to settle because of the serious financial matters it has to deal with now.

Anonymous said...


As somebody who has been in the trenches you know that their is a underlying mentality in the sport. Not everybody. But enough where enough people don't put their hand up and say that is wrong.

I think it takes courage to write the above blog.

In the current state a NASCAR team, driver, or associated employee is probably just one youtube video away from sending the sport's perception over the top.

Anonymous said...

Classic get rich scheme or lottery. It goes on everyday of the year with full support of greedy lawyers and plenty of shakedown artists. People need to grow up and get some thicker skin, this whole protected class deal is disgusting and is costing our economy major dollars. Whoi wnats to do business in this country with onerous laws?

NASCAR wimped out because of PC, all this case will do is encourage more of the same.

Anonymous said...

Realistically when NASCAR began its "Drive for Diversity" it was always really a "Drive to get Sued".

Such proved to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Well, once aTgain Mr. Poole, you are spot on with your comments. As a retired former member of the corporate world, the manfeet uneducated individuals who have computers and attempt to share their massive brains with others, are not aware of how it is in the real world. Treating others with respect and not playing the sophmoric loon is the way it really is. My hope is that someday, they along with NASCAR will "get it".

Anonymous said...

The real world here is that NASCAR settled. That suggests they decided they wouldn't do well in court - otherwise they wouldn't have settled.

If NASCAR wants to avoid similar such issues it will have to sort its act out. Otherwise it will continue (and rightly so) to get sued.

Seriously, across so many levels, NASCAR needs to clean it act it. On its current course it will have alienated every possible fan base out there.

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #2, hear this loudly and clearly - I can know Grant had no case because the sheer luridness of her allegations were too excessive to be in the least bit believable. So stop it.

Anonymous said...

Until one of you have been "SHAKED DOWN" by one of these lawyer sharks, you can't know how it feels. I HAVE and I DO know how it feels. It is "legal" extortion.

I had done nothing wrong in my line of work but I still had to hire an attorney to defend me. This little skumbag shark was ready to take me to court. If I went to court my attorney told me it would cost at least $40,000 to defend myself. The suing attorney offered to "settle" for "only" $20,000.

I know EXACTLY how NASCAR feels just on a much smaller basis. With all the horrible, horrible ambulance chasing attorneys out there just looking to find a deep pocket, look out, you could be next. Think it can't happen to you? Wait til the next ice storm and someone falls infront of your house and sues YOU!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is that it costs lots money to speak your mind. For all the choirs that get upset with drivers/owners/crewchiefs/ that don't stray from the company line, this is a great example.

We have certain protected classes. Race. Oh, but not all races. If you're white, you can be called white trash, trailer trash, whitey, hicks, pod scum, and more that I cannot write in this site.

And the list goes on. Sexes are potected, unless you are a white, hetetrosexual male. Then you can let the insults flow, often with applauses.

Religion is protected. That of course includes the religion of the atheist. Well, of course there is no religion protection if you are a Christian/Catholic.(A crucifix in a vat of urine. Mary nude as a sex symbol) But there has to be protection from those who must stand (not obligated to participate) while others say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Let's face, if anything this suit did, was to warn everyone NEVER speak your mind. You don't know who it will upset and how much it will cost.

I worked for a major corporation that had a similar suit. The settlement had little to do with the merits. It had to do with the adverse publicity (like a newly elected black man for President, deep pockets and poor person)and what the insurance company wanted. Some in the company were split, but the suits and insurance company won.

Many of you are wrong if you think that garage will now be singing kumbaya. These one-sided opinions just further hatred and distrust between groups.

Ah, the gold ole days!

Unknown said...

Monkeesfan, here's the real truth. You don't KNOW beans about fruit when it comes to this case.

Anonymous said...

I would not doubt if there were many sponsors who preasured NASCAR to settle and quickly. Before Obama took office. They probbly told them, get out of the headlines.

Anonymous said...

She'd been out of work a long time," Benedect Morelli told the Associated Press on Friday. "We thought it was in the best interest of our client not to drag this out two to three years. She needed closure. She's a young woman, and when you make the sort of allegations she did, it's difficult to move forward and get on with your life."

This sure sounds to me that Grant was the one that blicked first.

So the fact she was unable to find another job tell us something. Maybe she has no skills for jobs that are availabe. Maybe a lot of companies see her as a trouble maker. Maybe she thought if she didn't work she might get more money.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... "Hey crazy second poster lady..."

Just how do you read that comment and make the distinction that the poster is female? You must be smart enough to know what was actually said behind closed doors if you are that good!

And a shout out to David Poole; you take on one of your commmentors here! That's refreshing - as well as your thoughts are poignant. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

She'd been out of work a long time," Benedect Morelli told the Associated Press on Friday. "We thought it was in the best interest of our client not to drag this out two to three years. She needed closure. She's a young woman, and when you make the sort of allegations she did, it's difficult to move forward and get on with your life."

Oh please. Cry me a river. This is 100% a bogus crock. What a stinking liar she was. This is was a 100% scam and a set up from the gitgo. Flimflam. She knew what she was doing. Working the system as usual. Welfare the extortion way. A lot of these lying stealing caniving types such as Jesse Jackson and his crew have extorted billions and billions for ages.

Nascar was a sitting duck because they hate the fact that its white. Former Dennys owner and Panthers owner Richardson paid a billion in extortion to these same type crooks in 1995 right before the season began. They had him over by the gonads and he caved allegedly over not serving them in California.

Its always the same ole story. They whine to get hired and then they sue for some frivilous meaningless trash. All a set up. A rig.
Dont hire these people. Stay away or you will be sorry.

Anonymous said...

Why dont whites object being called redneck? This is a derogatory word equal to the n-word that you cannot say although they say it all they want. Even the media routinely prints anti-white derogatory words like redneck freely without hesitation. Whites should be able to say it but not non-whites like their n-word. Its past time to consider another split off and slavery is not the issue this time as big a mistake as it was before. We need a new nation for about 200 million whites only. This is not racist. We believe in live and let live.

3KillerBs said...

I'm skeptical on principle any time a woman cries "sexual harassment" but never exercised a woman's time-honored privilege to slap the face of a guy who got too fresh.

I'm skeptical on principle any time a woman cries "sexual harassment" but didn't scream, make a fuss, yell for help, or run (at least not run anywhere but to her little casebook of "incidents").

The stuff Ms. Grant claims merited not merely a slap, a shriek, a public fuss, and an official report to the company superiors but a police report as well. So where are those police records about the CRIME of indecent exposure?

If there's no evidence that a woman EVER made a serious effort to say, "You're over the line, buddy," I have to believe that any sexually charged incidents were consensual.

Unprofessional? Yes. Grounds for firing all parties involved? Probably. Worth one penny of company money? No.

IIRC, when that female engineer, Alba Colon, was asked if she'd suffered any such "harassment" she replied that she'd made it clear that she wouldn't put up with that sort of nonsense and thus had never encountered it.

We women have to take our fair share of the responsibility for the workplace atmosphere by behaving professionally ourselves and by drawing VERY CLEAR LINES about what we'll tolerate.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR lost this one big time. They spend months looking like the big bully and then only settle to undisclosed amounts with presumed guilt. They could and should have kept this quiet and came to the same end. Stupid Stupid Stupid.

I have to say that the continued opinions expressed in the comments of this blog are quite like no other that I read. Keep it up guys as it makes great lunch time conversation. You can't make this stuff up.

Anonymous said...

John said:

NASCAR lost this one big time. They spend months looking like the big bully and then only settle to undisclosed amounts with presumed guilt. They could and should have kept this quiet and came to the same end. Stupid Stupid Stupid.

There are MILLIONS who do not think NASCAR looked like a bully or looked guilty. They think NASCAR was a victim of a black woman who got fired and now pulled a scam.

NASCAR was not the one that wanted publicity. It was the lawyer and the woman. They want to perpetuate the myth that white American businesses are all racist.

Anonymous said...

It is very instructive that Grant filed suit in the Southern District of New York, not in the city where she worked.

It is also noteworthy that Grant's lwayer had a press release right after the suit was filed, and when NASCAR was contacted by the press, they had not even read the complaint yet.

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, Ms. Grant and NASCAR settled.

Anonymous said...

i am white all yall are jelous she got money so all u cry. at least she slam nascar really good they went down on this one. showes they were wrong so cry all u that would like to have her money. millions she might even buy a nascar team

Anonymous said...

This was another case of going after deep pockets. This woman who claims all this stuff happened over a long period of time was looking simlly to take advanage of the conditions of our litigious society. Generally Americans will at the drop of a hat run to the nearest courthouse.
The recurring theme is "is isn't about the money"....Bull crap. Then don't sue for money.
If I were in the postion to make the decsion I would have litigated this case until hell froze over.
And anyone who looks at this with glee, shame on you. Because the costs of these ridiculous lawsuits where someone's ego gets damaged are pased along to the consumer.
David dio not slay Goliath, he just raised your ticket prices

Anonymous said...

To anyone who is refering other commentors as racist....Usually when one throws down the race card it is they who are racist. It is they who think of people in terms of groups. It is they who constantly seek victim status.
So before you lash out at those whom you diagree and call them racist, think before you type. You have no clue what a person stands for. You fire off comments as though you are entitled to make judgements based solely on the fact that another person had the nerve to disagree with what YOU believe to be the popular point of view. It doesn't work that way and you don;t get ot call other racist becauwse you want to silence them

Anonymous said...

This whole case was about money. Lots of money. I mean the chance of a lifetime.

What were the merits? It did not matter. This was about the opportunity of a lifetime. This would be like winning the lotto. Depending where you are, there are chances this might be tax-free.

First you have to start out by filing in a black area of NY. Not only do they hate white, they hate the south and NASCAR.

Then it has to be for a lot of money. You cannot ganer press attention with a small, reasonable amout. It has to be in the stratosphere.

She and her lawyer has to ignore the fact that she had been given bad work appraisals and had been fired for cause. This about money.

Why so many bleeding-heart liberals have not seen this suit for what it was, baffels me.

Recently there was another big suit in NY. But it was different in many ways. First, the offended party was an executive. She was a Vice-President with a college education and was a former athletic star. This person was Ms Browne. Prior to being fired, she had just received a $76,000 bonus for her excellent work.

She sued for sexual harrassement (Isaiah Thomas). She sued for $10 million dollars. She had witnesses and won her $10 mil. Mr Thomas was not fired and just had to attend sensitivity training.

So where does Ms Grant, a blue collar worker who makes $30,000 per year get the idea that she's worth more than Ms Browne?

Give me a break, this was always about money. Whatever she got, she'll be broke in a year or two looking for another scam.

Anonymous said...

Time-line for suits by 2 black women.

Ms Browne:

1. Gets a $76,000 bonus for excellent work performance.

2. Sues for sexual harrassment.

3. Gets fired.

Ms Grant:

1. Gets poor work appraisal

2. Gets fired.

3. Sues for one quarter of a BILLION DOLLARS!

Anonymous said...

Grant wasn't the first Nascar employee or team member to be shoddily treated by the sanctioning body and then get thrown out. She was, however, the first to have an opportunity to go after them and with good representation receive a nice parting gift.

I hope she stuck them for everything she could get.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR took another step backward by cowering to legal extortion by paying off the suit. As everyone knows a company doesn’t pay for such financial expenditure but rather pass it on to their customers, the fans.
All fairness when you have the liberal judicial collaboration like we have today, how can you get an impartial, objective judgment? The moral rot continues. Maybe if NASCAR would have hired Denny Crane and Alan Shore there would have been a different outcome.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
i am white all yall are jelous she got money so all u cry. at least she slam nascar really good they went down on this one. showes they were wrong so cry all u that would like to have her money. millions she might even buy a nascar team

Go away lil dumb colored boy.

Funny how welfare extortion has finally hit NASCAR when it hits the mainstream after ages of gumint giveaways and after the Jesse Jacksons have extorted billions and billions out of corporate America. Its always the same OJ crowd wanting something for nothing using whiplash lawyer liars and in the end that free loot always makes everything well. What a joke.
Nothing but a 100% lie scam fraud deception bogus way to extort.

Dont back down from these lying extortionists looking for a free lunch. They knew how to deal with black trash like this in the old days ...

Anonymous said...

I have to say some of the dumb ass, racist comments here make me embarrassed to be a NASCAR fan.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself writing that stuff.

Anonymous said...

I have to say some of the dumb ass, racist comments here make me embarrassed to be a NASCAR fan.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself writing that stuff.

Pawmetto said...

It never ceases to amaze me that the term racist gets the same treatment as communist did back in Eugene McCarthy's day. People who use this word, do not know its origin. It originated in the French Revolution to describe those who were a member of the proletariat who ended the monarchy. If you were not a "Rasciste" , you would have your turn at a dance with Madame' Guillotine. Fast Forward to the 21st century and the irony of it all is that the offended are indeed the racists themselves. I am not intimidated by anyone who accuses me w/the R word. I just laugh at the effort to use such a strong word , when prejudice or perhaps bigot for stronger behaviour would be more appropriate. The REAL truth is that the Marxist courts and media have perpetuated this debacle. Common sense ended when men quit wearing hats in Ike's era and went hatless in JFK's term. We have never been the same since.

Anonymous said...

OK legal experts, answer me this. If NASCAR is innocent and the victim of a scam in this case, WHY DID THEY SETTLE?

The complete answer will consider the potential loss or gain by both parties of both settlement and trial.

I look forward to more substance for my lunch time conversations.

Anonymous said...

It is entirely possible that NASCAR determined that it was cheaper to pay Ms. Grant than their attorneys.

Anonymous said...

I 100% agree with the last comment from Anonymous. Living in California it's a common thing to run the numbers any time you get sued. If it costs 1 million to defend your position and go before a Russian roulette jury or you can pay 1/2 million and make it go away..... Which would you choose?

Anyone hear about the guy going around to various businesses in California insuring they were handicap accessible? He brought his tape measure and if anything was 1/4 inch off, he sued the business. (Maybe NASCAR can use this guy in their tech inspection line.) He was not trying to make anything BETTER.. except himself. It was so bad the courts finally had to use some archane law saying he could not sue any more. Long and short, he shook down HUNDREDS of businesses for at least $5,000.00 EACH. May the Devil have a special place waiting for him.

No matter how much NASCAR was wrong or right it ALWAYS comes down to money with NA$CAR.

Anonymous said...

Ok, here are the true facts of this case…

NOBODY who has written anything knows squat about the true facts of this case. Not Poole. Not Monkeesfan. Not anyone.

So that being said, this really is a waste of a conversation, as it’s obvious that it’s full of assumptions and nobody has any facts at all to back themselves up.

Monkeesfan says it’s a farce and not true. Oh? Prove it. Were you there? No. So you really don’t know, you only assume... and remember what happens when you assume.

Poole wasn’t there either, yet it seems as though he is quick to tell NASCAR they better shape up. Agree or disagree with him, the overall tone of his writings is that NASCAR is certainly guilty.

Of course, is it possible that there is a culture in the garage that may lend itself to this behavior? Sure. Of course that doesn’t mean it happened, and if you CHOOSE to work there, then you certainly have to accept that culture does exist IF you want to be accepted as a part of the society. That may not be fair, but it’s the way it is… after all, as David says, fair is where you go to get funnel cakes.

The real question is where does that line exist? Was it crossed? And was it crossed to the tune of 250 million dollars? And did crossing that line absolve her of a poor work performance?

For those who think a settlement is an admission of guilt: clearly, you have never dealt with this type of decision. NASCAR was looking at millions of dollars in legal fees and perhaps years of bad PR, even if they were 100% innocent! Versus a settlement that makes it all go away for perhaps pennies on the dollar of what she was suing for. Does anyone know for sure she is going to be rich? How much was the settlement? If you were NASCAR, would you make this go away for, say, $100000?

One thing is painfully obvious from the comments on this blog though – racism and sexism is alive and well in this country, and in the NASCAR fan ranks.

The sad part is that someone nailed it… all it did was create an animosity between men and women and blacks and whites in the garage that probably wasn’t that bad prior to this mess. You can’t legislate tolerance and manners.

Monkeesfan said...

David, and you know what, exactly? Grow the hell up. We may not know a great deal here, but one thing we all know is a settlement means nothing as far the credibility of her case.

nh_nascarfan makes some very good points.

Anonymous said...

$225 million? Was Grant disabled? Did she lose a limb? There is no reason a person asks for that kind of money other than extreme greed. I am sickened by folks like her that misuse the justice system. Nascar settling to make this end, is in no way an admission to anything. I find it hard to believe Grant was abused and emotionally distraught. It appears she used her race and gender so she wouldn't have to work for a living.