The widow of former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard filed court papers on Monday against the state of California, the city of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County, according to the LA Daily News. The suit alleges negligence over her husband’s death, and dangerous condition of public property.
Shad passed away at the age of 39 back on May 17 of this year after he and his 10 year old son were among a group of swimmers who were swept away by a strong rip current while in the ocean at Venice Beach, CA. First responders hit the water to rescue the swimmers, but Gaspard told them to save his son first, and they did, which saved his son’s life. Shad was reportedly then hit by a large wave and he went under. A search and rescue operation was then launched but Shad’s body washed ashore three days later.
Shad’s widow, Siliana Gaspard, alleges that there were insufficient signs posted to warn of the dangers of swimming in this location, that lifeguards who tried to rescue her husband and Shad’s son were understaffed and not properly trained, and that they did not bring proper equipment for the rescue.
Siliana further alleges that the rescuers assisted his son Aryeh, but “left Shad Gaspard in the water to die.”
Siliana brought the still unofficial lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of herself and Shad’s son, identified in court papers as A.G. She is seeking unspecified damages and burial costs.
As we’ve noted, Shad’s autopsy listed “drowning” as the official cause of death. His death was ruled an accident. A LA County Coroner investigator wrote that Gaspard was swimming in the ocean on Sunday, May 17 with multiple other people when lifeguards began assisting swimmers out of the ocean due to a rip current. Witnesses stated that a wave crashed over Gaspard, and he was not seen again. The report also detailed how Shad “gave over” his son to lifeguards, ensuring his safety, before he was taken back under the surface by a wave. County lifeguards pulled Shad’s son from the water and he was evaluated by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics, but did not require hospitalization. Searches for Shad were conducted on May 17 and May 18, and on May 19 the case was listed by the LAPD as a missing persons investigation. His body was found on Wednesday, May 20, not far from where he was last seen alive.
Stay tuned for more on Siliana’s lawsuit.