Will Smith’s wife files wrongful death lawsuit against Cardell Hayes

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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.

13 responses to “Will Smith’s wife files wrongful death lawsuit against Cardell Hayes

  1. “The lawsuit also names the insurance companies providing coverage to the cars that Hayes and Will Smith were driving.”

    This is one of the major things wrong with the legal system here. Not that I don’t loathe insurance companies, but how could they possibly be responsible for Hayes’ behavior, especially the one insuring Smith’s vehicle?

    Yet they can be sued simply because Hayes likely has limited assets that can be gotten in settlement and the insurance companies have deep pockets.

    It reminds me of why Cessna and other companies stopped building small planes for many years. If there was a crash the attorneys would sue every maker of every part in the plane, whether or not it had anything to do with the crash because the attorneys knew it was cheaper for them to settle then prove the part(s) they made had nothing to do with the crash.

  2. Suing solely for the sake of possibly getting some extra cash is absurd but there are millions who would do it and a large cadre of sleazy lawyers who will convince even more to give it a shot. I wish they would fix it. Suing for actually being victimized is one thing but a huge number are simply bogus attempts at free cash.

    Hold the lawyers singularly responsible for the legal costs of the other side when they lose (not their clients). That ought to cut down on some of the BS. As for class-actions, mandate that the lawyers involved in the case can collectively make no more than 25% of the total judgment–the other 75% goes to the actual victims.

  3. We’ll never have tort reform because the Trial Lawyers Association is a huge supporter of the Democratic Party. The Democrats don’t care what’s good for the country. Only what’s good for their power base.

  4. What happened to Will Smith is just another perfect argument for gun possession. If he had a gun and knew how to use it he’d probably be alive today.

  5. Tory reform is a stupid idea that screws everybody. Society can bear the burden of a few frivolous law suit she much more effectively than ridiculous limits on cases, lawyers who are merely serving client interests, or payouts. The people who support Tory reform are also the ones who are critical of welfare, and let me inform you that if you don’t want to pay for damages, then don’t limit torts. Louisiana already has med mal caps resulting in a healthcare drain as injured parties can’t afford to get care based on terrible payouts.

  6. How and why was the National Media already at the crime scene taking pics of Cardell Hayes that night???

  7. Why on earth would Smith’s insurance company be sued? I can barely see why Haye’s company is, but can’t fathom that someone thought to sue the other insurance company.

    I’d love for a lawyer to explain this to me – or, one of you fine internet lawyers on here who comment on these things daily.

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