Family Files $10 Million Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over 2019 Murder at Lear Corp. in Cottondale
The family of a woman who was murdered in 2019 at an automotive plant in Tuscaloosa County has filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against her killer and the company that employed them both.
For those unfamiliar with the case, the deceased victim, a Greensboro woman named Shanina Smith, worked with 30-year-old Angela Mayo at the Lear Corporation plant in Cottondale.
On August 4th, 2019, Mayo brought a gun to the plant and shot Smith several times in the head and body. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting, and Mayo was charged with murder.
Mayo told investigators that Smith made fun of her for being slow on the production line and that she shot and killed Smith because she was worried the alleged bullying would escalate to physical violence.
She pleaded guilty to Class A felony murder in May 2021 and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
On Tuesday, Shanina Smith's mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Mayo and the Lear Corporation on behalf of the victim's son, who is a minor.
According to the complaint, Mayo "had a history of harassing and threatening" Smith while the two worked together. Smith's mother alleges that the Lear Corporation was aware of the abuse, that "it was foreseeable that the defendant, Angela Mayo, would attack Shanina Smith" and that the Lear Corporation "did not have policies and procedures in place to prevent guns bring brought to work and to prevent workplace shootings."
The six-count lawsuit accuses Lear of negligence, wantonness, negligent or wanton hiring, retention, training or supervision, violation of workers compensation law, assault and battery and wrongful death.
"The defendants' negligent, wanton, wrongful, unintentional and intentional acts as set forth herein above proximately caused the shooting, murder and wrongful death of Shanina Smith," the lawsuit alleges.
Stewart Springer, the Birmingham-based attorney representing the Smith family, said he is seeking $10 million in damages with this lawsuit, although that amount may go even higher before the case is concluded.
Circuit Judge Brad Almond will hear the preside over the lawsuit.
Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on this case as they become available.