Stewarts has successfully represented Formula 2 racing driver Juan Manuel Correa in his application for disclosure of a Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) accident report and footage.
The legal proceedings follow a fatal accident at the Belgian Formula 2 Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on 31 August 2019. Juan Manuel sustained life-changing injuries in the accident, which tragically resulted in the death of his fellow driver, Anthoine Hubert.
Juan Manuel Correa crash F2 investigation
Stewarts’ partner Chris Deacon brought the request for disclosure of the details of the FIA’s accident investigation on Juan Manuel’s behalf, acting in conjunction with French avocat Solenn le Tutour.
The request for disclosure was filed in the Paris courts, the home of the FIA, following the first anniversary of the accident in August 2020. The proceedings were pursued under Article 145 of the French Code of Civil Procedure which states:
“If there is a legitimate reason to retain or establish before any trial the evidence of facts on which the resolution of a dispute might depend, legally admissible instructional measures may be ordered at the request of any interested party.”
On 26 February 2021, a judge of the Tribunal Judiciare de Paris ordered that the FIA disclose the accident report, its annexes, audio and video recordings to Juan Manuel within 14 days.
The court proceedings follow extensive correspondence with the FIA since November 2019. The FIA had failed to provide Juan Manuel with a copy of the accident report and footage to enable him to fully understand the circumstances in which he came to be so seriously injured.
On 7 February 2020, the FIA made limited information available in a press release regarding the conclusion of its accident investigation. On 11 May 2020, the FIA published a list of more than 20 safety recommendations following its investigations into 28 serious and fatal accidents related to circuit racing during 2019. But it declined to share with Juan Manuel its findings as a result of the fatal accident at Spa-Francorchamps in 2019.
Juan Manuel Correa injuries
Juan Manuel suffered severe injuries as a result of the crash including significant fractures to both of his legs, fractured vertebrae and life-threatening damage to his lungs. He was initially helicoptered to hospital in Belgium where he underwent surgery before being admitted to intensive care. Juan Manuel developed acute respiratory distress syndrome during his treatment in Belgium, which forced his family to organise his urgent medical evacuation to London for specialist treatment. He was placed in an induced coma for several weeks whilst undergoing specialist, life-saving treatment on his lungs. The trauma to Juan Manuel’s lower limbs required several significant reconstructive surgeries.
Juan Manuel Correa recovery
Juan Manuel’s recovery continues, and following extensive rehabilitation at driver training camps in Europe, he will be making a return to racing in Formula 3 for the 2021 season.
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