Mother of 8-year-old girl killed by neighbor boy files $10 million lawsuit
DANDRIDGE - The mother of an East Tennessee 8-year-old girl shot and killed by a neighbor boy has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the boy’s parents.
P. Richard Talley, an attorney for LaTasha Dyer, filed the suit in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Monday morning.
LaTasha Dyer’s daughter, MaKayla, died Oct. 3, 2015, after her 11-year-old White Pine neighbor shot her in the chest with a 12-gauge single-shot shotgun, according to authorities.
The suit seeks $5 million “for the wrongful death of Makayla Dyer, medical expenses, funeral expenses, pecuniary value of her life, loss of consortium and for pain and suffering and all other reasonable compensatory damages,” and an additional $5 million for punitive damages.
The lawsuit argues that Jason Tiller and Mary Ann Tiller had a duty to supervise their son and were negligent in allowing him access to a firearm at the age of 11.
LaTasha Dyer held a news conference in March in support of a proposed state bill that would have made it a crime to “recklessly place, leave or store a firearm in a location that is in plain view and readily accessible to a child” younger than the age of 13. The proposal failed in the state House’s Civil Justice Committee.
Lawmakers expressed concerns that the parents could already be prosecuted with a reckless endangerment charge, and that the legislation might give the state too much power to prosecute a person in their own home.
A Jefferson County judge found the 11-year-old boy delinquent in MaKayla's death. Sources told 10News at the time that the boy was sentenced to state custody until he turns 19.