The second phase of legal action arising from the shooting death of Saints defensive end Will Smith has begun.
Cardell Hayes, already convicted of manslaughter in connection with the incident that left Smith dead and his wife shot in the leg, has been sued by Will Smith’s estate and by Raquel Smith. The lawsuit also names the insurance companies providing coverage to the cars that Hayes and Will Smith were driving.
Other lawsuits have been filed as the one-year anniversary of the incident approaches. Richard Hernandez and his wife, who were riding in the car with Will and Racquel Smith, have filed suit against Hayes and Will Smith’s estate. Jonathan Whipple, who was driving a car that was rear-ended in a chain reaction after Hayes slammed his vehicle into Smith’s, also has sued.
Civil lawsuits are routine in car accidents, but the added element of a confrontation that led to gunfire, mayhem, and death will make it a little more difficult to wedge the events with the boundaries of insurance coverage. The fact that the lawsuits are being filed just before the Louisiana deadline for doing so suggests that any efforts to settle the insurance claims before going to court have failed.