Stewart, Ward family lawsuit settlement accepted; terms confidential

UTICA, New York — A confidential settlement approved by a federal judge ends a lawsuit against Tony Stewart and allows him to avoid a trial where jurors would have determined if the Columbus resident was liable for the death of another racecar driver.

United States District Judge David N. Hurd accepted the settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit Thursday afternoon during an in-person hearing in Utica, New York, the state’s Northern District court. However, details of the agreement were not divulged.

Stewart, a three-time NASCAR champion and current NASCAR team co-owner, and the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. previously notified the court April 2 that a settlement had been reached and that a scheduled May 7 jury trial would not be needed.

Hurd said the case would be dismissed once procedures regarding the estate of the victim were finalized. Stewart declined comment afterward, as did the Wards.

Stewart, now 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 the 20-year-old Ward.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more details in Friday’s print edition of The Republic