The family of a deceased Athens Middle School student sued a Columbus go-kart raceway for the alleged wrongful death of their son, arguing an injury he sustained at the venue became cancerous and ultimately led to his death.
Amy Taylor-Bianco and Joseph Bianco, the parents of Andrew Bianco, who died in June 2019 from a rare form of cancer, filed a lawsuit against Buckeye Raceway, LLC last week in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, saying the company’s negligence resulted in their son’s go-kart colliding into a wall, causing severe trauma to the groin area, including his testicles.
The injury developed into a large mass that was eventually diagnosed as rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that can develop following a severe physical injury, according to the lawsuit.
“Andrew always thought of others before himself and it was important for him to know that steps would be taken to stop a tragedy like this from ever reoccurring,” Attorney Michael Fradin said. “I hope to honor Andrew’s wishes by helping his family’s efforts to hold the raceway responsible for recklessly disregarding his safety.”
Buckeye Raceway was unable to be reached for comment at time of publication.
Its website notes that children under 12 must have a parent or guardian sign a liability form prior to driving a go-kart.
Fradin said Bianco’s parents didn’t sign any waivers that would adversely affect their ability to bring the suit.
During a 2018 visit to the raceway, Bianco, 11 years old at the time, was provided by staff with a go-kart made for adults that can reach higher speeds than those for kids, despite him being below both the Raceway’s minimum age and height requirements to drive one.
Once Bianco was placed in the adult go-kart, he was not tall enough to reach the break and gas pedals or see over the wheel, so the staff placed him in a booster seat to help remedy the problem, the lawsuit alleged.
The go-karts speeds are controlled remotely by staff, and are adjusted according to the ages of the drivers, which the lawsuit alleged Bianco was never informed of.
Bianco’s kart allegedly unexpectedly accelerated to the highest speed, reserved for adults, when turning a bend, causing him to lose control and slam into a wall at between 30-45 miles per hour, the suit said.
Bianco spent 12 days at Nationwide Children’s Hospital after the collision and suffered permanent bladder and rectal dysfunction in the years leading up to his death, according to the suit.
He underwent chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, but ultimately died at age 12, just weeks before his 13th birthday.