IndyCar driver Alex Palou’s legal team filed a motion to move the civil lawsuit against him and ALPA Racing, which is listed as Palou’s “racing entity,” to federal court, according to court records.
But included in the notice is that the defendants “anticipate” filing counterclaims, including for defamation.
Chip Ganassi Racing, Palou’s current team that filed the civil lawsuit, recently announced that it exercised the option to extend the reigning champion’s contract. However, Palou went on to deny the claim as well as the quote supposedly by him hours later. Instead, he will start racing for McLaren Racing in 2023, which both McLaren and Palou confirmed July 12.
The notice from Palou’s legal team also confirmed that the defendants were being sued for claims including breach of contract. CGR’s legal team filed to seal the official complaint as well as several exhibits, but the other exhibits that are public include part of Palou’s tweets and McLaren’s tweet and the press release of the announcement.
Palou’s legal team is looking to move the lawsuit to the Indianapolis Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The basis for attempting the move was “diversity of citizenship” and the “amount in controversy.”
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The federal court system typically has jurisdiction when more than $75,000 is at stake, which Palou’s legal team highlighted. The filing details how the contract the plaintiff is seeking to enforce would be worth more than $75,000, stating that CGR is “seeking to force Alex Palou to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing, LLC in the 2023 IndyCar Season.”
Palou’s legal team released a statement last week regarding the lawsuit, stating, “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. Alex has consistently given his very best effort to CGR and it is unfortunate that CGR would attempt to deny Alex this opportunity.
“We would hope the parties can resolve this amicably, but if not, we look forward to resolving this matter in a private arbitration, as CGR has requested.”
CGR’s legal team responded in a motion of their own, calling for it to be moved to Indiana Commercial Court. They stated Palou’s filing was “a defective removal notice” that was “filed hurriedly” to delay legal proceedings, per IndyStar. The two sides had a virtual attorney conference scheduled for Monday morning with a judge, which was canceled after the IndyCar driver’s filing.
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