Friday, August 07, 2015

One Year Later, Kevin Ward, Jr. Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Tony Stewart

Kevin Ward, Jr.
The family of Kevin Ward Jr. filed a wrongful death suit today against NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, almost exactly a year after the 20-year old driver was struck and killed by an open wheel Sprint Car driven by Stewart at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York.

The suit was filed earlier today in Lewis County (NY) Supreme Court, and comes 363 days after Ward, Jr.’s death on August 9, 2014.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages for wrongful death, reckless conduct, gross negligence and the suffering allegedly experienced by Ward between the time of the collision and his death. It claims that the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion intentionally accelerated as he rolled past Ward – who had climbed from his damaged Sprint Car and walked across the track in an apparent attempt to confront Stewart -- striking Ward with his right-rear tire.

Tony Stewart
The suit alleges that Stewart “could have easily acted reasonably and with prudence to avoid striking Ward, just as all other drivers had done as they passed Ward during the yellow caution flag. Stewart acted with disregard for Ward's life and safety by driving his vehicle in a manner that would terrorize Ward and thereafter strike, severely injure and kill Ward."

Last September, a Grand Jury in Ontario County, NY, declined to charge Stewart with any crime, saying there was no evidence to indicate criminal misconduct or negligence. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said witness testimony and a review of multiple videotapes showed "no aberrational driving" by Stewart. In addition, Tantillo said an autopsy had revealed the presence of marijuana in Ward’s system at the time of his death.

Even before the filing, Stewart said he expected this week to be difficult.

“I'm trying to not think about it,” he said Wednesday. “Unfortunately, I have a feeling it is going to be brought up a lot this week. It doesn't help (me) continue to move forward with it.


  1. This is a combination of parents not wanting to believe the facts about their son - being high and causing the incident when he left his car to confront Stewart - and lawyers looking for paydays!

  2. Anonymous4:54 PM

    While this will probably be settled without ever reaching court for an "unspecified amount," the ridiculousness of the timing as a bad PR stunt is glaring. If I was Stewart, I might have been open to a settlement at some point, but not any more. Kevin Ward's actions, and those actions alone, are responsible for his death. Add in the presence of marijuana in his system and you have to consider that his mind was not of as sound judgement as it could have been. I'd fight the suit like hell, but that's Stewart's decision.... I'm sure doing so would just open old wounds.

    1. Anonymous8:26 AM

      I agree 100%. Even though I'm not a fan of Stewart in NO WAY should he give in to the Ward family. He was proven innocent once before, Ward was found with drugs in his system, and obviously the timing of the suit as mentioned is a big PR stunt. Stewart better not settle and give Ward and those greedy lawyers ANY $. That's what's wrong with this world anymore; people are out to get the easy $. Even if it's wrong. I hate to say it but this action makes you question the legitimacy of the loss of the Ward family more going after $. Makes you question their character more after a case was already ran on the incident.

  3. Maybe if the kid wasn't high driving a race car he would be alive today!!
    Family just trying to blame someone else for there for there son's bad decisions and make some money.

  4. Anonymous5:08 PM

    When this effort to sue Tony fails, I hope he tells his attorney to go after the Ward family for everything they own. The idiot was rocing while using dope, lost control of his emotions and subsequently pulled a stunt that got him killed. If anyone but Kevin Ward is to blame, it is whoever knew he was racing high, and didn't step in and stop him.

  5. They won't get a penny in court. But it might be worth it for Tony to settle out-of-court just to make this family go away.

  6. Anonymous5:16 PM

    The timing reeks of pure vendetta!

  7. Anonymous11:10 PM

    This has been in Tony's mind every day since the incident. He hasn't done well on the track since that night. His heart has been torn apart. That is more that enough. Wish we could all go back in time. #SmokeWillRise