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Driver Rear-Ended by Will Smith Sues Smith’s Killer and Widow

Orleans Parish court records show that, a lawsuit has been filed by a man whose car was rear-ended preceding the fatal shooting of former New Orleans Saints player, Will Smith.  The man has filed a civil lawsuit for personal injuries, mental suffering, and losses he claims to have suffered after the negligence of Will Smith and his convicted killer, Cardell Hayes.

Jonathan Whipple, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, names Hayes – “who was convicted of manslaughter in Smith’s death, and Smith’s widow, Racquel Smith, along with both Smith’s and Hayes’ auto insurance companies.”  The suit was processed just before the anniversary of Smith’s death – the deadline to file a claim in relation to the crash.

Whipple was stopped at a traffic light in his Impala when Hayes’, driving a Hummer H2, ran into the rear of Smith’s Mercedes.  With his momentum, Hayes’ also pushed Smith into Whipple’s car.  After Smith and Hayes developed a heated argument following the crash, Hayes’ pulled out a gun and shot Smith claiming he killed Smith in self-defense.  In December, Hayes was charged with manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.  Hayes was additionally “convicted of attempted manslaughter for striking Racquel Smith with gunfire.”

Whipple’s suit claims that “negligence on the parts of both Will Smith and Hayes led to the crash, which caused injuries to Whipple’s head, neck, back, shoulder and arms.” Following the crash, Whipple’s car was impounded and forced him to purchase a second car.  He claims to suffer “permanent disability,” “mental anguish,” loss of “enjoyment of life,” medical expenses and lost wages, and “extreme inconvenience.”

The lawsuit claims that as Will Smith’s “succession representative,” Racquel Smith is now liable for his negligence.  Recently, a woman who was also riding in Smith’s Mercedes that night has filed a civil lawsuit against Hayes and auto insurance companies for Smith and Hayes.


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