Resolution of a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. against former NASCAR driver Tony Stewart is still months away, if not longer.
A settlement conference with both parties that took place Friday in U.S. District Court in Syracuse, New York, failed to settle the case, according to court documents.
Stewart, the Wards and attorneys for both sides met in person with Magistrate Judge Therese Wiley Dancks.
The settlement conference was scheduled after both parties received an email June 13 from Dancks about the possibility of a settlement conference, and they indicated two days later an interest, according to court records.
Previously, both parties attempted mediation in advance of a hearing on a motion by Stewart to dismiss multiple claims in the wrongful death lawsuit, which had been set for Friday until the settlement conference was scheduled. However, the two mediation sessions, on April 18 and June 6, did not end with resolution, court records state.
Stewart, 46, 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, who was 20 at the time.
The following month, a 23-person grand jury in Ontario County, New York, declined to indict Stewart on either of two charges: manslaughter in the second degree and criminally negligent homicide.
Kevin Ward Sr. and Pam Ward filed the lawsuit Aug. 4, 2015, and blame Stewart for the death of their son.
What’s next in the case is a series of deadlines for both parties to meet. According to court records:
The Wards are to report back to the court, per discussion during the settlement conference, by July 10.
Stewart is to provide to the Wards data files in the requested format by July 10.
Expert rebuttal is due by July 31.
Expert depositions are due by Aug. 31.
Final discovery motions are due Sept. 7.
Dauber motions are due by Oct. 2. The purpose of a dauber motion is to exclude testimony of an expert witness or presentation of unqualified evidence to the jury.
No new date has been set for Stewart’s motion to dismiss, and no date has been set for a trial.