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Tony Stewart hits and kills fellow racer

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by toil, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    No.

    Not if they are ruling it "active in his system to effect judgment"..that would be a much higher concentration than busting an employment pee test, where the thresholds are set to very low levels.

    It's also highly variable based upon body fat %s...
     
  2. Sushimon355

    Sushimon355 Formula Junior
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    well it looks like the family will pursue this in civil court and reality is, they'll probably walk away with some $$$, right or wrong. if anything, TS and team will likely settle out of court just to make it go away. I'd be willing to bet that any potential settlement will involve some kind of gag order or something to prevent the family from discussing this in public again. heck, that's probably worth a settlement right there alone. I'm not a lawyer so don't know the appropriate legal jargon but I think you understand what I'm saying.

    in terms of the amount of pot in his system, I suspect the family can find some "expert" who argues the other side and potentially calls into question the underlying assumption of impairment. best I can tell, the actual amount in his system has not been disclosed - only that it was enough that in THEIR opinion, could impair judgment.

    regardless of how this plays out, it is a sad situation all around...
     
  3. johnhoughtaling

    johnhoughtaling Formula 3
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    #728 johnhoughtaling, Sep 25, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
    I don't want to hook this thread into a tort system debate but, Not an accurate description of what happened in the coffee cup case. It is an accurate description of the propaganda surrounding this case. A very masterful job by special interests to distort the tort system. As for personal responsibility, juries are actually pretty good at this in most cases. Think about the fact that if you make it any harder for the little guy to fight the guy with deep pockets, you will see a complete erosion of personal (and corporate) responsibility for the guy with deep pockets. The economics of contingency fee access to litigation is often misunderstood. A plaintiff doesn't have free litigation costs. The litigation costs of plaintiffs and defendants are often identical. It's just that usually on the plaintiff side a plaintiff firm fronts all the attorney fees (attorney time), expert costs, court costs, overhead and expenses, on the bet that they win. In litigation if the facts are close, it's usually the guy with the deepest pockets that has a lot of leverage one way or another. If the facts are not close the facts are usually the biggest leverage there is.

    As for the facts in the press about the TS case: here is my prediction, If it is not settled before the suit is filed, my guess is that a lawyer that invests in this case will be taking the risk that it's thrown out on a motion to dismiss. Very difficult case and if you win the contributory negligence will mean that it will not be worth very much. The fault of Ward will be at LEAST 50% and the amount of fault decreases the proportionate amount of any damage. In some jurisdictions a high degree of contributory negligence is a bar to recovery. In some states, an accident that results from someone being intoxicated is also an absolute bar to recovery. A claim will absolutely be made but TS will already have paid way more in crisis management PR people than how much the insurer will pay on this case.
     
  4. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

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    My recollection could always be a little fuzzy, and I think the jury award may have been appealed and reduced after the fact, but without going into an entire recitation of the facts, which of my back-of-the-napkin fact pattern was not correct about the McDonald's coffee case? Not a challenge. I just can't recall anything beyond that. IIRC, it was brought in one of the southwest states (AZ or NM, maybe?), and I don't know what regime they use there.

    NY is comparative negligence. Even if Ward was 99% responsible, it's not a bar to recovery. As we both agree, any awarded amount to Ward's estate will be reduced by that %age.

    CW
     
  5. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

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  6. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

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    FYI, by way of an update, Ward's family filed a civil action today.

    CW
     
  7. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    pathetic.
     
  8. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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    yep.
     
  9. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Indeed. I wonder if there was an honest attempt to settle.. I seem to recall some speculation that Stewart had made a generous offer to avoid litigation, but that may have been just rumor.
     
  10. Turbopanzer

    Turbopanzer F1 Veteran

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    Greed has a way of doing that.
     
  11. srephwed

    srephwed F1 Rookie
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    Does every one know what a sprint car is? First off it a pile of chrome moly tubing built into a chassis with around 7 or 8 hundred horsepower. The left rear tire is huge. the right rear tire is even bigger and there are NO fenders. people ask why do they run on the track under caution it is because they do not have a transmission or a starter. They are pushed onto the track, put in gear ( the rear has an in and out shift cable) then pushed off and started. To stop every car a red flag is thrown but then all cars must be pushed again. Sprint cars have a huge wing to make them fast but it also restricts your vision. The drivers spent more time looking out of the right hand side of the car. While under caution you are following other cars. All with a limited field of vision. All the other cars passed Mr Ward because he was not after them. Tony could only see the car in front of him then all of a sudden Mr ward was running down the track at him. Did he hit the throttle? I think he did but only to avoid Mr Ward. Sprint cars are made to turn left. hit the brakes and it turns left. hit the gas and it turns left. when someone is to your right and you turn left how can anyone say you were trying to run over them? The Ward family suffered a terrible loss. why drag on? Does anyone remember the toxicology report on Mr Ward? I hope dollar signs are not at the bottom of this suit.
     
  12. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
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    All of which, essentially, goes to the amount (%age) of liability attributed to Ward himself, which reduces the amount of Stewart's liability (and any financial award) under NY law. If this goes to trial, the jury will hear the evidence and make the determination of how much will be allocated between the parties (and any other parties that might also be named in the suit...like the track owner, the organizer, the sanctioning body, etc.).

    As johnh suggested, there will almost certainly be a motion to dismiss, but they are generally denied (and unless there's a flaw in the way the complaint is alleged, the facts will be viewed by the Court in the light most favorable to the plaintiff). There will likely be other motions (summary judgement, for example), of course, that may deal with the issue dispositively, but I wouldn't put high odds on them resolving the case one way or the other at this time. So, this will likely end up going to discovery, mandatory mediation and, only then, trial.

    CW
     
  13. Ferraripilot

    Ferraripilot F1 World Champ
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    These high profile cases always end up paying something out in the end. Tony will be paying a hefty sum to settle this outside of trial.

    Just two years ago I assisted in settling a case for a certain rapper whose stepkid (a minor) was killed out on the lake by a jet ski. The jet skier did absolutely nothing wrong, but a 7 figure settlement was still paid.

    They both had a hefty assumption of risk by their actions, which is -in a normal case- an affirmative defense for these situations. But just as the rapper's kid, this guy who jumped out of his racing car on an active racetrack and in front a celebrity meaning the rules as we know them do not apply.

    I'm sure plaintiff counsel is dragging the racetrack owner into the suit as well, and whomever their carrier is I'm sure will advise to settle. I'm not sure regarding the venue, but that's not a particularly large county where this took place, the kid was a local, so I'm guessing the jury pool will be small and already immediately biased. No win situation here folks.
     
  14. floridadoorman

    floridadoorman Formula Junior
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    +1

    I am sure everyone even remotely associated and related to the issue is being made a party to the suit....a shakedown of sorts....to grab what they can. I am surprised Tony had not resolved this issue before suit was filed....this will dog him big time going forward...take the hit, settle and move forward.
     
  15. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    the ward family will finally get their pound of flesh. their child is still gone however. tony knows what happened.
     
  16. Fast_ian

    Fast_ian Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Indeed. Very sad.

    He had a bunch of marijuana in him too if IIRC.

    +1

    And I can't believe Tony ran him down on purpose. I really hope he fights this BS.

    Ian
     
  17. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

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    I don't believe he did, either.

    However, I can certainly imagine that he threw a brushback pitch that beaned the kid. The beaning may have been unintentional, but the intent could have been to throw the brushback. Understand, I'm not saying that's what happened, because I don't know what was going through TS' mind at that moment, but that's the story that may very well be told by the plaintiff's counsel. And, the problem for TS is that he has a history of doing hotheaded things just like Ward did. Does this establish a pattern of impulsive, dangerous conduct on TS' part? A jury may be considering and deciding that.

    In a civil case, it's a different standard that is applied: preponderance of the evidence (as opposed to beyond reasonable doubt for criminal). This is a lower standard, and the jury will be so advised by the presiding judge. So, the fact that there's a history between these two and all other evidence will be scrutinized by that jury, and if I were TS' counsel, I might request a change of venue so as to avoid getting "hometown'd".

    CW
     
  18. srephwed

    srephwed F1 Rookie
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    Maybe just maybe he feels that if he took the hit he admits quilt. As a lot have said only Tony knows what really happened. Sometimes a life is lost to save others. After this many tracks made a stay in the car rule. Unless it was on fire or you were in danger, stay in the car. they did not institute a don't hit the gas if someone is running towards your car rule. Duke it out on pit road after everything is parked. My thoughts and prayers are with the Ward family. There can be nothing worse than burying one of your children.
     
  19. tervuren

    tervuren Formula 3

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    There are two things I would like to make very clear if you frame by frame both video sources.

    One, is that Ward's upper body took the force of an initial hit, while he was still errect. He was not run over, and he was not "hit by the back tire as tony slipped the car sideways to throw dirt on him.

    You can follow his helmet(upper body), and see it suddenly take a motion along the axis of travel of Tony's car. It is also at this moment that there is deviation in Tony's car. This is the point of impact, and it was transmitted to Ward through his arms to his upper body.

    A hit to by a tire, would cause a rotational force that would result in Ward toppling forwards, not backwards.

    The impact was ahead of the cockpit of the spring car. (Which is also why Tony was so quick to stop, he saw Ward hit.)

    Secondly, the engine revving does not match any motion of Tony's car. Its just bad timing that makes people think "he gassed it". The right side, the side Ward is on, dips, but the rear does not squat. Ward's weight pressed down on the sprung mass of Tony's car, not onto the tire(unsprung).

    Tracing the path of Tony's car on the ground, Tony's car was not faster, nor up the track, than the other cars on the track. While all but the gray blob of Ward's helmet is out of sight, I leave fact here, to make supposition that Ward tried to jump onto Tony's car, lost it, was slung(out of sight) by the top back tire, and received his fatal wounds. He also might of gotten smashed by the rear tire into the nerf bar that sticks out when he slipped.

    If you frame by frame the motion of the car, it does not accelerate "to dust off the kid".

    The facts support that Tony had slightly more than one second to do anything, and the amount of course correction he could of done in an already cornering car in that point, is quit small compared to the inertia of Ward.

    Tony wouldn't of even been able to see him long enough to even think of "dusting him off". Tony probably didn't even know Ward wrecked, there was no contact. Ward wrecked by running high up on the pillow for extra grip, but touched the "packed" part with the side of his tire.

    A yellow, means there is a wreck such that the vehicle can still drive off into the pits with a push at most. This means the general expectation is for a truck or four wheeler to pass from the infield, and out to the stricken vehicle once the pack has tightened up. The race leader slows to "pace" and the pack catches up "above pace".

    The only possible fault, is when Ward exited his car, it could of gone to a red flag in HINDSIGHT. A driver jumping onto a competitor's fast moving sprint car was certainly, not expected by the flag man.
     
  20. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

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    You raise interesting points, and I'm sure there will be expert analysis for both the plaintiff and defense that establish their own, and pick apart their opponent's, theories. I'm sure each and every driver on that track and a whole bunch of other people who witnessed the incident will be deposed. I'm sure some will conclude it's TS' fault and others will conclude it's Ward's.

    CW
     
  21. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    Andrew, you give that hot head punk way too much credit and the benefit of doubt.
     
  22. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    given the defendant's history...this is plausible. my esteemed attorney friend from our hometown of Greenwich speaks the trurh!
     
  23. floridadoorman

    floridadoorman Formula Junior
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    I agree with the notion re: admitting fault. That though is a philosophical issue. Believe me, I was in a similar crappy situation in business...and did not want to pay .01$ as the SOB stole from me....but I settled for as little as possible and moved on. Burden would be gone for him; issue is resolved and he can concentrate on the 2016 campaign. Many many cases are settled with either party not admitting any wrongdoing. Sucks, but its the lesser of all the evils that lie out there if he contests it...
     
  24. tervuren

    tervuren Formula 3

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    #749 tervuren, Aug 15, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
    I give him no credit, and he's hidden in shadow and under the wing of a sprint car. The only thing I know, is that deviation from following the car in front happened when the two collided, not before. This means "trying to throw out the back end to kick up dirt gone wrong" does not match frame by frame analysis. While this rules one thing out, it still does not tell us anything about what Tony was thinking.

    We know after the collision he came to a stop before an official red flag was thrown, this is perhaps the only insight we have, and it shows he knew he hit Ward. To know you hit someone, you had to have seen him. I think its fairly safe to say that Tony saw Ward, and Tony knew that Ward had received injuries on a level to instantly dictate a red flag.
     
  25. srephwed

    srephwed F1 Rookie
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    Have you ever hit a deer at night? I rest my case
     

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