Settlement possible in wrongful death suit

A wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. against former NASCAR driver Tony Stewart could reach a conclusion soon.

A settlement conference with both parties is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today in U.S. District Court in Syracuse, New York, according to court documents. The time and date was agreed to after both parties participated in a conference call with Magistrate Judge Therese Wiley Dancks on Tuesday afternoon, court records show.

Stewart and the Wards received an email June 13 from Dancks through their attorneys about the possibility of a settlement conference, and they indicated two days later an interest, according to court records.

Previously, both parties attempted mediation, but two sessions did not end with resolution. Also, a hearing on a motion by Stewart to dismiss multiple claims in the wrongful death lawsuit had been scheduled for 10 a.m. today in U.S. District Court in Utica, New York, before the settlement conference was scheduled.

Stewart of Columbus 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 the death of their son, Kevin Ward Jr.

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