Tyler Skaggs’ household sues Angels over pitcher’s demise



The household of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs has sued the crew and two former workers after his overdose demise nearly two years in the past, alleging that an Angels worker provided medication to a number of gamers.

One lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in Los Angeles County Superior Court docket on behalf of Skaggs’ widow, Carli, whereas his dad and mom, Darrell and Debbie, sued in Tarrant County (Texas) District Court docket.

The complaints, which identify former communications director Eric Kay and longtime vp of communications Tim Mead as defendants along with the Angels, accuse the crew of wrongful demise and negligence. The lawsuits allege Kay “had a protracted historical past of drug abuse” and supplied medication to “a minimum of 5” Angels gamers apart from Skaggs.

“The Angels owed Tyler Skaggs an obligation to offer a protected place to work and play baseball,” the lawsuit filed in L.A. mentioned. “The Angels breached their responsibility after they allowed Kay, a drug addict, full entry to Tyler. The Angels additionally breached their responsibility after they allowed Kay to offer Tyler with harmful unlawful medication. The Angels ought to have identified Kay was dealing medication to gamers. Tyler died on account of the Angels’ breach of their duties.”

The household doesn’t search a certain quantity of damages within the complaints.

“The lawsuits are fully with out benefit and the allegations are baseless and irresponsible,” the Angels mentioned in a press release. “The Angels Group strongly disagrees with the claims made by the Skaggs household and we are going to vigorously defend these lawsuits in court docket.”

In a separate assertion, Mead’s lawyer, Eric Vandevelde, mentioned his shopper “was not conscious, knowledgeable or had any data in any respect that Tyler might have used opioids or that Eric Kay or any Angels worker had ever supplied opioids to any participant. Any assertion on the contrary is reckless and false.”

Skaggs was discovered lifeless in a resort room in Southlake, Texas, on July 1, 2019, earlier than the Angels opened a collection in opposition to the Texas Rangers. The Tarrant County health worker dominated in an post-mortem report that the 27-year-old’s demise was an accident after “combined ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication” led him to choke on his vomit.

An investigation by Southlake police and the Drug Enforcement Administration resulted in Kay’s arrest in August. He’s charged in U.S. District Court docket in Fort Price with offering counterfeit oxycodone tablets laced with fentanyl to Skaggs that resulted in his demise and conspiring to “possess with the intent to distribute” a substance containing fentanyl since a minimum of 2017.

Kay, who pleaded not responsible, is scheduled for trial in mid-August. He’s the one individual identified to have been charged in reference to the demise.

The affidavit in assist of the legal grievance in opposition to Kay by DEA particular agent Geoffrey Lindenberg alleged that “however for the fentanyl in [Skaggs’] system, [Skaggs] wouldn’t have died” and that Kay and Skaggs “had a historical past of narcotic transactions, together with a number of exchanges whereby Kay acquired oxycodone tablets for [Skaggs] and others from Kay’s supply(s) and distributed these tablets to [Skaggs] and others.”

“I additionally realized that Kay would distribute these tablets to [Skaggs] and others of their place of employment and whereas they had been working,” Lindenberg wrote.

The Angels employed former federal prosecutor Ariel Neuman to conduct an inside investigation of the circumstances surrounding Skaggs’ demise and have repeatedly denied that anybody within the crew’s administration knew about “any worker offering opioids to any participant.”

In October 2019, Kay’s Newport Seashore-based lawyer, Michael Molfetta, referred to as makes an attempt guilty Kay for the demise “shortsighted and misguided.”

“When all of the info come out,” Molfetta mentioned, “I believe what occurred is a tragedy. … However to say it’s anyone individual’s fault isn’t proper.”

Across the similar time, Mead instructed The Instances that Kay by no means talked about to him that Skaggs may be utilizing opioids.

“Eric and I conversed about lots of issues through the years,” Mead mentioned. “Tyler and opioids weren’t certainly one of them.”

Kay’s employment with the Angels led to November 2019, in line with his LinkedIn web page.

“The Angels didn’t hearth Kay, didn’t take away Kay from the clubhouse, and didn’t correctly limit Kay’s entry to gamers reminiscent of Tyler,” the lawsuit filed in L.A. mentioned. “The Angels likewise didn’t cease Tyler’s drug use after they knew or ought to have identified about it.”

After Skaggs starred for Santa Monica Excessive College, the Angels drafted him within the first spherical in 2009. He took a winding path to the foremost leagues — together with a 19-month restoration from surgical procedure on his pitching elbow — earlier than turning into a key member of the crew’s beginning rotation.

The lawsuits allege the Angels had a “poisonous surroundings that pressured gamers to play by way of the ache” and that gamers who missed video games due to accidents had been “ridiculed.”

“Tyler shortly realized that he was anticipated to pitch even when he was harm,” the grievance mentioned.

Mead labored for the Angels for 40 years earlier than taking up as president of the Nationwide Baseball Corridor of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., in June 2019. He introduced in April he was stepping down from the place, citing household duties.

The lawsuits accuse Mead of being “negligent in quite a few methods,” amongst them having “an obligation to cease Kay’s interplay with gamers as soon as he realized or ought to have realized that Kay was offering harmful unlawful medication to gamers, together with Tyler.” Kay was in rehab “a number of occasions whereas employed by the Angels,” the lawsuits mentioned, and was hospitalized in 2019 “as a result of he overdosed on unlawful medication.”

Rusty Hardin, the Houston-based lawyer for the Skaggs household, mentioned in a press release that the choice to file the lawsuits was “very troublesome.”

“However they wish to resolve the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s tragic, premature and fully avoidable demise, and to carry the people and entities — together with the Angels — accountable for the actions that contributed to it,” Hardin mentioned. “Because the federal grand jury indictment made plainly and painfully clear, had been it not for the fentanyl within the counterfeit tablet supplied by Angels worker Eric Kay, Tyler can be alive immediately.”





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