la county sheriff
LA County Sheriff - Photo courtesy of Elliott Cowand Jr on Shutterstock

One Year Ago Today (March 13, 2022)…The widow and two minor children of a man killed in a confrontation with sheriff’s deputies — in which one deputy allegedly applied pressure to the back of the man’s neck with one knee — want a court order excusing them from missing the deadline to file a claim against Los Angeles County.

Tiffany Hayes, who was married to the late Richard Hayes, brought the Los Angeles Superior Court petition on Friday on behalf of herself and her 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, saying she hopes to file a claim for wrongful death, civil rights violations, battery, negligence, failure to summon medical assistance and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Hayes filed her original claim on Nov. 22, seeking $10 million and doing so according to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order extending the normal six-month deadline for filing claims another 120 days because of the coronavirus. the petition states. She filed additional documents in January, but on Feb. 8 the county rejected it anyway as being brought too late, the petition states.

Richard Hayes died in March 2021, but his widow maintains that under Newsom’s order, the deadline for filing was Jan. 19 of this year rather than last Sept. 21.

Tiffany Hayes also maintains that in the alternative, her children, as minors, should be able to file a claim within a year of the death under the state’s Government Code.

“This application should be granted without question because the minor claimants were all minors during the six-month claim-filing period following Mr. Hayes’s death and were not represented by counsel during the claim-filing period,” the petition states.

According to the proposed claim, Richard Hayes suffered a “mental health episode” about 7:30 p.m. last March 21, so his wife called 911. Deputies arrived before paramedics and fired a stun gun on him several times until he fell on his stomach, according to the proposed claim.

“Deputies then piled on top of Mr. Hayes to restrain him, with one deputy forcing her knee into the back of Mr. Hayes’s neck,” the proposed petition states.

Richard Hayes, who was not a threat to the deputies, became unresponsive after several minutes and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the proposed petition.

The deputies “failed to timely summon medical attention or provide medical aid to Mr. Hayes, thereby further contributing to his injuries and death,” the proposed petition states.

Tiffany Hayes and her daughter witnessed the incident and suffered severe emotional distress, the proposed claim states.

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