Judge Dismisses Mayfield Lawsuit

U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen made a surprise ruling Tuesday as he dismissed all claims by owner-driver Jeremy Mayfield in his lawsuit against NASCAR over a drug test in May 2009 that NASCAR said was positive for methamphetamines.

NASCAR filed a motion last November for Mullen to rule on the case based on the pleadings already submitted, and Mullen issued his ruling Tuesday afternoon in favor of NASCAR. There was no hearing on the motion.

"Plaintiffs (Mayfield) agreed to release Defendants from all claims arising under a negligence theory or otherwise; Plaintiffs thereby waived their right to pursue their claims for defamation, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, and negligence," Mullen wrote in his order. "Plaintiffs also failed to allege facts to support each of their claims. … Plaintiffs claims are hereby dismissed."

Mullen's ruling can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Mayfield, who was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on May 9, 2009, had sued NASCAR for breach of contract, discrimination and defamation in an attempt to get back on the track and for financial damages. He won an injunction to participate in NASCAR in July but never got back on track.

The injunction was later stayed pending appeal, and Mayfield eventually asked for the court to drop the injunction so the case could proceed more quickly toward trial. A trial was scheduled for September 2010 at the earliest.

Mayfield has denied using methamphetamines and contends the drug-test findings that prompted his suspension resulted from a combination of prescription drug Adderall, which is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and over-the-counter Claritin-D allergy medicine. He also contended that NASCAR must follow guidelines that regulate federal agencies. NASCAR denies that Aegis Sciences Corp., which conducts the NASCAR drug-testing program, must follow those regulations.

NASCAR Statement: “The U.S. District Court’s ruling is a powerful acknowledgement and affirmation of NASCAR’s rulebook and its ability to police the sport. NASCAR has been very clear with its competitors as to its policies and what is expected of them. NASCAR’s comprehensive substance abuse policy, which is among the best and toughest in all of sports, serves the safety of our competitors and fans.”

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