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NASCAR driver seeks to dismiss wrongful death case

Maryland NASCAR fans may be interested to learn that Tony Stewart, the driver who was accused of being responsible for the death of 20-year-old Keven Ward Jr., filed a motion on March 28 to have numerous claims against him dismissed. The accident occurred in August 2014 during the Empire Sprints race in New York.

During the race, Ward had crashed his vehicle as he was vying for a better position against Stewart. Ward then got out of his vehicle and approached Stewart's vehicle. Stewart then struck Ward with his car, resulting in Ward's death. In the motion, Stewart said that he did not see Ward coming but attempted to change direction when he did see him. Ward's family, however, believed that Stewart moved the vehicle in an attempt to scare Ward.

According to a crash reconstruction that was completed for Stewart, the driver only had, at most, 1.4 seconds to react after seeing Ward. Thus it was argued that Stewart did not have enough time to maneuver the vehicle in a way that would allow him to avoid striking Ward. A worker also stated that Ward did not stop to avoid Stewart's moving vehicle. Mediation was set for April 18.

If a fatal accident causes the death of a loved one, surviving family members may have the ability to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. Wrongful death lawsuits are grounded in negligence just as personal injury lawsuits are, and an attorney for the survivors will use the same analysis when attempting to determine the party that should be held responsible for the family's losses.

Source: ESPN, "Tony Stewart wants many claims dismissed in wrongful death lawsuit", Bob Pockrass, March 28, 2017

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