Paralyzed Jockey Sues Racetrack for Negligence

Paralyzed Jockey Sues Racetrack for Negligence

A jockey paralyzed from a fall during a race in 2004 is now suing the track’s parent company as well as the horse’s owners-trainers and veterinarian.

Gary Birzer, a 110-pound jockey, was thrown headfirst into the dirt at 40 mph after his horse collapsed. The fall broke his neck, causing him to be paralyzed from the waist down.

He claims that MTR Gaming Group Inc., the track’s parent group, failed to repair holes and soft spots in the track, which caused his horse, Lil Bit of Rouge, to fall during the race.

Kelly Wiseman and Danny Bird, the horse’s owners-trainers and Howard Weir, the horse’s veterinarian, are also named in the suit.

The suit claims that Wiseman, Bird and Weir all knew Lil Bit of Rouge was unhealthy and not fit to race. The suit also contends that Mountaineer Racetrack was aware of the horses’ condition but allowed it to race anyway.

Birzer is seeking more than $12 million in damages.

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