Final attempt at mediation fails


A second attempt at mediating a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. against former NASCAR driver Tony Stewart has failed.

Court documents show that both parties participated in a mandatory mediation session June 6 before Judge Glenn Norton but that no resolution was reached to settle the case. Both parties previously participated in a mediation session April 18 before Norton, which also did not result in an agreement.

Mediation is considered complete, according to court documents.

The next step is a hearing on a motion by Stewart to dismiss multiple claims in the wrongful death lawsuit, which will come before Judge David N. Hurd at 10 a.m. June 23 in United States District Court in Utica, New York.

Stewart and Ward competed in an Empire Super Sprints race Aug. 9, 2014, at Canandaigua (New York) Motorsports Park, where Stewart’s car struck and killed Ward. Kevin Ward Sr. and Pam Ward filed the lawsuit and blame Stewart for their son’s death.

Stewart, 46, of Columbus, has asked that claims of wrongful death and conscious pain and suffering and terror be dismissed in the lawsuit filed by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr., who was 20 when he died. If Stewart’s request is granted, only an intentional/reckless conduct claim would remain.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at or (812) 379-5639.