United States Seventh Circuit

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Bowers v. Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, 06-2718

In a suit by auto race fans seeking to recoup their expenses in attending and viewing an auto race where most of the field dropped out beforehand, dismissal for failure to state a claim is affirmed where: 1) even assuming that plaintiffs had a contractual right to a regulation race, the race regulations did not provide for a minimum number of racers; 2) there was no contractual obligation for defendants to use reasonable efforts to avoid cancellations or provide an exciting race; 3) the contracts between defendants were not violated in this case, and dismissal of the plaintiffs' claims as third-party beneficiaries of these contracts was appropriate; 4) plaintiffs' promissory estoppel claim failed because no reasonable promoter or racing fan would have regarded a race's advertising and promotion as a promise upon which someone could reasonably rely; and 5) a negligence claim was barred by Indiana's economic loss doctrine.

Appellate Information

  • Argued 12/04/2006
  • Decided 05/25/2007
  • Published 05/25/2007


  • CUDAHY, Circuit Judge., Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and CUDAHY and SYKES, Circuit Judges.


  • United States Seventh Circuit


  • For Appellant:
  • Henry J. Price (argued), Price Waicukauski Riley & Debrota, Indianapolis, IN, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

  • For Appellees:
  • Thomas F. Ryan, Sidley Austin, Derek J. Meyer, Steven P. Handler (argued), McDermott, Will & Emery, Thomas A. Doyle, Baker & McKenzie, Chicago, IL, David M. Mattingly, Ice Miller, James M. Boyers, Wooden & McLaughlin, Indianapolis, IN, Lawrence F. Carnevale (argued), Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, New York, NY, Peter W. Herzog, III, Bryan Cave, St. Louis, MO, for Defendants-Appellees.