UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — In a story July 29 about a ruling in a lawsuit against NASCAR driver Tony Stewart in the death of a fellow driver, The Associated Press failed to note the decision was first reported by the Watertown Daily Times and improperly used the content and wording of the newspaper story without additional reporting. A corrected version of the story is below:
NY judge: Tony Stewart’s insurer off the hook in Ward suit
NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will have to foot the bill for his own defense against a lawsuit brought by the family of a driver who died after being struck by Stewart’s car, after a federal judge ruled Stewart’s insurance carrier is not responsible to defend him.
UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will have to foot the bill for his own defense in a lawsuit brought by the family of a driver who died after being struck by Stewart’s car during a race, after a federal judge ruled his insurance company does not have to defend or indemnify him.
U.S. District Court Judge David Hurd ruled Friday that Axis Insurance Co.’s policy with Stewart limited the insurer’s liability to 105 specific races, and the sprint car event in which Kevin Ward Jr. was killed was not one of them. The judge’s ruling was first reported by the Watertown Daily Times.
Ward’s family is suing Stewart, claiming he acted recklessly when he struck and killed the young driver in an open-wheel race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in August 2014.
Ward had exited his vehicle after a car-on-car bump with Stewart had sent Ward spinning into the wall lining the dirt track in upstate New York. Ward appeared to be yelling in the direction of Stewart’s car when he was struck and killed.
A grand jury decided not to indict Stewart on criminal charges.
In his decision, the judge wrote it is undisputed the sprint car event in which Ward was killed was not one of those specified events covered by the policy. Attorneys for Stewart had countered that certain language in the policy provided that coverage was warranted.
Stewart’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment from The Associated Press.