An 18-year-old woman is suing her adoptive mother for wrongful death, alleging she caused the death of the plaintiff's year-old son by leaving him in an SUV at the family's Hawthorne home for more than nine hours in 2016.
Tasha Adams' Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit describes Olivia Adams as a "careless grandparent" who that day was supposed to have taken her grandson, Jeremiah Adams, to his regular babysitter and later allegedly told police the child accompanied her while she was running errands.
The defendant also took out a $50,000 life insurance policy on Jeremiah when he was born in March 2015, when the plaintiff was 14 1/2 years old, according to the suit, which was filed Monday, July 1, and seeks unspecified damages.
Top news of the day
Olivia Adams could not be immediately reached and a representative for the District Attorney's Office did not reply to an email seeking comment on whether any criminal charges were filed against her.
Tasha Adams' lawyer, Robert Rees, said he does not believe Olivia Adams was ever prosecuted. Tasha Adams was one of six siblings adopted by Olivia Adams, who received "substantial economic benefits" from doing so, according to the suit.
On March 30, 2016, Olivia Adams, Tasha Adams and two of her brothers, joined by Jeremiah, got into a Nissan Armada so the siblings could go to school and the toddler could be dropped off with a babysitter, the suit states.
Although Tasha Adams and her brothers were dropped off at the correct locations, Jeremiah was left in his car seat when Olivia Adams parked the SUV in her garage, according to the suit, which says she then got into another of her vehicles and left for the day to run errands.
Tasha Adams called her mother later that day to remind her to pick up Jeremiah from the babysitter, according to the complaint, which says the defendant said she would do so while she was on an outing with another of her children. The family had planned to go out that evening to celebrate Jeremiah's first birthday, the suit states.
About 4:30 p.m., Olivia Adams drove up to the home and sounded the horn signaling Tasha Adams to come out and get into the SUV, the suit says. Jeremiah was in the vehicle, but his head was tilted,his eyes were half shut and liquid was coming out of his nose, according to the lawsuit, which says he did not respond when his mother called his name.
Tasha Adams, following the directions of a 911 operator, performed CPR on her son, but he died at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, according to her court papers.
Olivia Adams began yelling, "I killed Jeremiah, I killed Jeremiah, I don't want to go to jail," the suit alleges. She later told police that her grandson was with her when she was running her day-long errands, but subsequently admitted she was lying, the complaint alleges.
Rees said Tasha Adams is now in college and has no relationship with her adoptive mother.