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Speedway official: Judge overturned jury verdict

Staff Report
January 26. 2012 10:45PM
A Superior Court judge has overturned a jury verdict that would have forced New Hampshire Motor Speedway to pay nearly $1 million in damages to the Motor Racing Network Inc., according to the speedway's general manager. (Union Leader File)
CONCORD - A Superior Court judge has overturned a jury verdict that would have forced New Hampshire Motor Speedway to pay nearly $1 million in damages to the Motor Racing Network Inc., according to the speedway's general manager.

'We really feel like we went through the legal system and that justice was done,' Jerry Gappens, who also is the speedway's executive vice president, said Thursday night.

In late September, a Merrimack County Superior Court ordered the speedway to pay Motor Racing Network $993,724 in damages for an alleged termination of a broadcasting agreement without three years' notice.

Judge Richard B. McNamara had ruled prior to the trial that the agreement between the parties was not an enforceable contract, but allowed the case to go to trial solely on the issue of whether New Hampshire Speedway made a promise to Motor Racing Network, that the radio broadcaster relied on that promise and incurred damages as a result of its being broken.

The speedway immediately appealed the jury's verdict to McNamara; on Thursday he reversed it, Gappens said.

'I was stunned in September. I walked out of the courtroom in disbelief,' he said. 'I wasn't surprised today, but I'm certainly very pleased.'

According to court records, Motor Racing Network broadcast races at the speedway from approximately 1990 through 2008. Speedway Motorsports Inc. bought the track in January 2008 and replaced Motor Racing Network with its own radio network, Performance Racing Network, according to court records.


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