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Impact Racing wins latest court battle over safety labels

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The latest ruling in a federal court dispute between an industry-certification group and Bill Simpson's Impact Racing LLC prevents the group from immediately severing ties with the Brownsburg-based company.

The June 21 ruling grants Impact Racing’s motion to stop SFI Foundation from terminating Impact’s contract of participation with SFI until it does so in a manner that is “unquestionably substantively rational and procedurally fair,” the court said.

Based in California, SFI is the not-for-profit organization that sets minimum performance standards for motorsports equipment.

It filed a lawsuit on March 26 in U.S. District Court of Southern Indiana claiming that, between November 2005 and August 2008, Impact hired an Asian manufacturer to produce look-alike SFI labels. The lawsuit, based on an affidavit from former Impact employee Darren Swisher, says the counterfeit labels were put on seatbelts, arm restraints, fire suits, head socks, gloves and boots.

“Until Impact is afforded fair procedure, Impact could suffer irreparable harm, if it has not already,” the court wrote.

The court ruling means Impact’s contracts with SFI did not terminate on June 22 as planned.

In April, Impact and SFI agreed that products made during 2009 and 2010 would remain SFI-certified. In addition, Impact can continue to manufacture and certify its products as SFI-compliant, the company said.

SFI's move to decertify Impact Racing's current product line threatened the business because the gear would be unusable at any track requiring SFI certification.

Simpson started Impact Racing in 2002 after fending off rumors that a seatbelt made by his former company, Simpson Performance Products, played a role in Dale Earnhardt's death. The NASCAR driver died after a crash in the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

Impact has its headquarters and a showroom at 1531 Northfield Drive in Brownsburg and factory stores in Mooresville, N.C., and Irwindale, Calif., according to the company website. The site includes video of the famously demonstrative Simpson set ablaze in one of his own racing suits to show its protective qualities.

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

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