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  October 31, 2000



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Hart's widow settles


By ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun
Martha Hart announces the lawsuit in June 1999. - AP

 Nearly 18 months after her husband Owen plunged to his death in a wrestling stunt gone wrong, Martha Hart has come to terms with World Wrestling Federation Entertainment on a wrongful death settlement.

 "The WWFE and the Harts have come to an amicable agreement satisfactory to both parties," confirmed chief Canadian counsel Pam Fischer of Pipella & Co.

 "The WWFE will continue the case against the entities which manufactured and sold the stunt equipment. We are now awaiting court approval in Missouri to finalize the agreement."

 A court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7, at which point Martha will fly to Kansas City with son Oje, 8, daughter Athena, 5, and Owen's parents, Stu and Helen Hart.

 It is there they hope the judge will approve the confidential agreement and finally bring closure to Owen's highly publicized death.

 "It's been the biggest nightmare you could ever imagine," Martha has said of the emotional trauma, further complicated by endless legal wranglings.

 "I can't say much right now... I'm satisfied and just hope it all ends Tuesday."

 Under the agreement, Martha said she isn't allowed to divulge the dollar figure on which she settled.

 It is widely believed the settlement, of which Stu and Helen Hart will get a small percentage, will be well over $10 million.

 However, Martha -- whose birthday will be bittersweet today -- has long maintained she simply wanted the WWF to admit it was negligent in overseeing the stunt.

  Owen died May 23, 1999, during a wrestling pay-per-view event in Kansas City, when he fell about 24 metres as he was about to be lowered from the roof of Kemper Arena.

More on Owen Hart