While acknowledging the tragedy of the shooting of a Los Angeles County Fire Department engineer by a colleague at the Agua Dulce station in 2021, a lawyer for the county says in new court papers that Los Angeles County does not have liability due to governmental immunity and workers’ compensation rules.
The lawsuit was brought Jan. 21 by Heidi Carlon, who was married to the late 44-year-old Tory Carlon; her adult daughter, Joslyn Carlon; and Heidi Carlon‘s two other daughters, who are both minors, alleging wrongful death, negligence and civil rights violations. Named as defendants are the county and the estate of Jonathan Patrick Tatone, who fatally shot Carlon before killing himself.
“Although Tatone pulled the trigger, it was the Los Angeles County Fire Department leadership’s ratification of Tatone’s years of dangerous conduct that was the substantial factor in the death of Carlon,” the suit alleges. But in court papers filed Monday, Mira Hashmall, an attorney for the county, states that while her client “expresses its deepest sympathies to the family of Tory Carlon … this lawsuit does not state any valid claims against the county. The county is not responsible for Tatone’s shooting or Carlon’s death.”
The workers’ compensation process is the exclusive remedy when employees are injured or killed at work, Hashmall argues in her court papers.
“Indeed, Plaintiff Heidi Carlon has already filed a workers’ compensation claim … so she cannot argue that workers’ compensation does not apply,” Hashmall states in her court papers.
Hashmall further states that the county has governmental immunity and that there was “no duty owed to Carlon by the county,” which she maintains defeats the family’s negligence claim.
Carlon was working at Station No. 81 on Sierra Highway on June 1, 2021, when the 45-year-old Tatone, who also was an engineer but was off duty, arrived and an argument ensued, authorities said. Tatone subsequently shot Carlon, who later died, and county Fire Capt. Arnie Sandoval, who survived. Tatone left for his Acton residence, which he set afire before shooting himself to death.
Carlon and others had consistently warned that Tatone was “unhinged and dangerous,” but the county “chose to ignore, ratify and empower Tatone’s bad conduct,” the suit alleges. Tatone was mentally unstable as well as “angry, unpredictable, violent and eventually deadly” as well as an “open wound in Fire Station 81, left to fester and infect for years…,” the suit states. A hearing on the county’s dismissal motion is scheduled Jan. 9 before Judge Stephen P. Pfahler.
Hashmall also represented the county in a trial of a lawsuit in which a federal jury awarded Vanessa Bryant $16 million and her co-plaintiff $15 million for mental anguish caused by the actions of first-responders who snapped and shared gruesome photos from the scene of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed Laker legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people.
22 comments for "LA County seeks dismissal of claims in firefighter widow’s lawsuit"
Firemen are not smart enough to go to college, athletic enough to play professional sports, and to damn lazy to work a trade. They we’re bullies in high school and they are bullies at the fire house. They are far from hero’s.
There is so much more to this story
FWB must of been beat up by fire fighters growing up.
Sounds like he has a little hatred towards fire fighters.
And, by your post, it is evident you have never been to college.
well at least you won’t be paying for my student loan
as Tim Scott has said in the past, go fornicate yourself.
Tim Scott says
Do I get royalties there?
A Taxpayer says
Didn’t both these guys belong to a brotherhood? Maybe they belonged to different unions.
Where was their father figure?
Something fishy here.
Sad because there is general sentiment that ‘heroes’ cannot do wrong. But These Two Did.
Taxpayers fund them profusely, and yet….and yet…
WHoa. I forgot about that.
Maybe sue the Union?
Roy Desoto says
Something fishy here.
It’s of general consensus that there is more to the story.
Many suspect there was a woman involved.
Frederick Astaire says
I hardly ever see anyone who dances alone get injured by their tango-mate.
John Gage says
The county let the caustic environment continue until a work place shooting occurred
My brother should still be alive. They are responsible for his murder!!
Tim Scott says
Your money grubbing parents with their on call legal team might have you convinced that there is a payday in the offing if you keep playing this tune, but there doesn’t appear to be any valid case for it. LA County is a soft target that would rather settle than fight if there is any merit to the case at all, but they aren’t gonna fold on this one. That should tell you all that you need to know. Dragging this through the courts is just going to make your brother look like a bullying jerk chip off the old block.
Capt Stanely says
If we are to believe it was a station house riff and not just the one guy banging the other guys wife.. Then I believe the family has a case.
Dr. Joe Early says
There’s some absolute untruths regarding what is released to the press. This needs to go to court so we can at least know the truth.
It’s a public relations nightmare for LAFD.
Tim Scott 2 says
Tim Scott is a piece of ****!!
He is on this page to make people angry! He is a no good human with zero morals. He believes he is the smartest individual living on this planet, but has never done a good dead for a single sole.
He is a lonely individual sitting at his apartment smoking a cigarette waiting for someone to comment on his ignorant post.
Just know, he has no friends, no family and no self worth.
You suck at life Tim Scott
Clearly, you have never met the man and are simply projecting your own deficiencies of humanity upon him.
AI Bot says
Humans cannot be made angry. Anger is a decision that is made by the human, not a condition imposed by the outside environment. Religions exist to mitigate or explain human feelings in this same way, as if something beyond their own ontology is the creator or originator of their psychic corpus.
Ted Atmore says
He’s not a piece, he’s a pile.
Tim Scott will never agree with what is right.
Regardless of the history between the fire fighters, what gives you the right to shoot and kill somebody?
Tim Scott has probably never paid a single penny to taxes but is the first one to complain about a law suit regarding the county.
Why don’t you shut your big ass mouth Tim, and let the courts make their decision?
You always have something to say, but never have a true solution. You are a true asshole that always opens your big ass mouth but never can back it with facts.
You are truly a piece of shit in life.
I know you live with 10 cats, 5 rats, 6 hamsters, 10 birds, house smells like shit, and just angry at life.
Live on you piece of shit
Dr FEELGOOD says
Take your meds
Tim Scott says
LOL…looks like I hit a little too close to Carlon the bully’s home.
“What is right” is frequently subjective. Your emotional investment in this keeps you from recognizing this, at the moment.
Tim Scott says
So, wait a minute…you seem to be saying that the county failing to eliminate the cliques means that the family of a clique member ‘deserves’ a settlement if the clique causes him a bad outcome. That would fall very heavily into “reward the bad actor for getting away with being a bad actor when it finally catches up to him” territory.