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Settlement reached between SpeedVegas operators, instructor

Updated April 24, 2017 - 3:07 pm

A confidential settlement agreement has been reached between a driving instructor at SpeedVegas and the operators of the track south of Las Vegas.

Clark County District Court Judge Joe Hardy signed an order of dismissal Wednesday and electronically filed it Friday on the civil lawsuit filed by Francisco Durban against SpeedVegas LLC, its affiliated World Class Driving LLC and track landlord Scott Gragson, a Southern Nevada real estate professional.

Terms of the settlement were not released by attorneys handling the case.

David Chesnoff, the Las Vegas attorney who represented SpeedVegas, affirmed the settlement Monday but did not comment on its terms.

It was clear earlier this month that the case was headed to settlement when attorneys for both sides appeared before Hardy on April 6. Chesnoff and Las Vegas attorney Dominic Gentile, who represented Durban, told Hardy they were close to settling the case.

“Mr. Gentile and I talked and were able to work out an agreement,” Chesnoff said after that hearing. “The track is open for business. … They filed a motion, we filed a response and the matter is settled.”

Settlement agreements routinely have confidentiality clauses that prohibit parties from publicly discussing terms.

While Durban’s case against SpeedVegas — first filed March 20 — appears to be over, other lawsuits could be in the works.

Durban’s lawsuit stemmed from a Feb. 12 crash that killed driving instructor Gil Ben-Kely and Canadian tourist Craig Sherwood.

SpeedVegas offered several options to employees following the crash, including a 60-day leave, but asked them to sign a document saying that “every precaution has been taken to ensure my safety as well as the safety of our guests.” Durban did not sign the form and asked the court to rule that SpeedVegas close until the company took further safety precautions, according to the lawsuit.

SpeedVegas contended in its opposition filing that Durban had not been terminated and shouldn’t have been allowed to seek a restraining order to close the track.

In addition to other potential lawsuits, the Nevada Office of Safety and Health Administration has not completed an investigation into the crash, which has been classified as an industrial accident.

The Review-Journal has previously reported there has been no movement by private tracks or government leaders to draft regulations to monitor attractions like SpeedVegas.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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