Thread: Tony in trouble
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Old 29 Sep 2014, 14:31 (Ref:3458577)   #106
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Originally Posted by Tim Falce View Post
If the Ward family go ahead with a claim I wouldn't be surprised if Tony Stewart counter sues the estate of Kevin Ward for distress caused.
Why? This is how it's going to go down.

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Experts would expect Stewart to settle: #14-Tony Stewart won't face criminal charges in the death of Kevin Ward Jr., and now it's likely up to Stewart whether the case ever returns to court. Stewart not being charged criminally, plus the fact that Ward had marijuana in his system at the time of his death, could mean that a civil suit is less likely. But the standards in civil cases don't match the criminal side, and New York law forces juries to determine a percentage of fault for each party in a wrongful death case, which means that Stewart could have incentive to settle. The Ward family has indicated that it will pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the three-time Cup champion. Stewart could settle any case out of court by writing a check to the Ward family with the amount kept confidential. Or he could fight in court over whether he was negligent at all in the death of the 20-year-old driver, who walked out onto the track and was struck by Stewart's sprint car under caution Aug. 9 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.
Greg Bloom, an attorney at the Miami firm Chase Lawyers who represents athletes and entertainers, said he would advise Stewart to settle, even though he believes it was an accident. "I think he will end up settling," Bloom said. "If I was to advise him, I would advise the same because he wants everything to be behind him. Everyone wants this whole story to be behind him, so he can move forward professionally and the memory of the deceased can rest."
John M. Hochfelder, a New York lawyer who runs a blog and database on injury case damages in New York, said it is not uncommon for someone who is not indicted or is acquitted of criminal charges to face a wrongful death lawsuit. "All the (criminal) acquittal means is that the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the jury, that a crime was committed," Hochfelder said. "That standard is much, much higher than the civil standard, which is a preponderance of the evidence, a tipping of the scales. We call it 'the more likely than not' standard. ... (In this case), it's more likely than not that you should have been more careful and your lack of care, we conclude, caused an injury."
Michael McCann, a Massachusetts attorney who founded the University of New Hampshire's Sports and Entertainment Law Institute and also writes for SI.com, said because Stewart has a stake in preserving his reputation in order to earn sponsorship to race, he has incentive to settle this as soon as possible. "The likelihood that Tony Stewart reaches an adequate settlement is very high," McCann said. "He has reason to settle a case like this even if he believes he did nothing wrong."(Sporting News)(9-27-2014)
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