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Weeks Before Formula One Race, Residents File Lawsuit to Block Miami Grand Prix

The United States’ second Formula One race, the Miami Grand Prix, is scheduled for the weekend of May 6-8 but the residents of the Florida city have tried to force close its inaugural event.

Many residents of Miami have been opposing the F1 race on the grounds of “intolerable” noise pollution and with weeks to go for the race, have launched a lawsuit to shut it all down.

According to a report in the Miami Herald, the lawsuit from Miami Gardens residents, led by Betty Ferguson, the former Miami-Dade County Commissioner, is looking to block the Miami GP.

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The lawsuit states that the race would “cause severe disruption and physical harm to Miami Gardens residents”. A decision is expected within early next week, Miami Herald quoted Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Alan Fine expressing “frustration” that the ruling will have to be made in such a tight timeframe.

The lawsuit alleges that noise from the race will “cause severe disruption and physical harm to Miami Gardens residents,” citing an engineering firm’s estimate of up to 97 decibels for homes up to a distance of 2.5 miles from the Hard Rock Stadium, which is “similar to the sound levels produced by a chainsaw.”

Lawyers for the Hard Rock Stadium as well as the residents of Miami Gardens feel the outcome of the lawsuit will depend on the issuing of its special events permit by the city.

“Numerous courts before me have resisted the temptation to jump into something that hasn’t been issued yet. Shouldn’t I wait to see if the city manager issues the special events permit? We are in this limbo state prior to the issuance of a special events permit. It’s a very uncomfortable place for a court to be,” Judge Fine said.

“They live in a bedroom community and they are entitled to protection under the law,” said Sam Dubbin, an attorney for the residents.

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