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Tyler Skaggs family sues Angels over pitcher’s death

The family of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs has sued the team and two former employees after he died of a drug overdose nearly two years ago, alleging that Angels employees had supplied multiple players with the drug.

One lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in Los Angeles County Superior Court. On behalf of Skaggs’ widow Carli, while his parents Darrell and Debbie were filed in Tarrant County (Texas) District Court.

The complaint, which names former director of communications Eric Kay and longtime vice president of communications Tim Mead, is a defendant besides Angel accusing the team of wrongful death and negligence. The lawsuit alleges Kay “has a long history of drug abuse” and supplying drugs to “at least five” Angel players other than Skaggs.

“Angels owe Tyler Skaggs the duty of providing a safe place to work and play baseball,” the LA lawsuit said. “The angels disobeyed their duty when they gave the drug addict Kay full access to Tyler. The Angels also violated their duties when they allowed Kay to supply Tyler with dangerous illegal drugs. The angel should have known that Kay was selling drugs to players. Tyler died due to the duties of an angel.”

The family did not claim a specific amount of damages in the complaint.

“This case is groundless and the allegations are baseless and irresponsible,” Angels said in a statement. “The Angels organization disagrees with the Skaggs claims and we will vigorously defend these cases in court.”

In a separate statement, Mead̵

7;s attorney, Eric Vandevelde, said his client “was not known, informed or had any knowledge that Tyler may have used opioids, or that Eric Kay or any Angels employee had previously provided any player with opioids,” said Mead. Any opposite is reckless and false.”

Skaggs was found dead in a hotel room in Southlake, Texas, on July 1, 2019, just before the Angels opened up against the Texas Rangers. Tarrant County medical examiners ruled in the autopsy report the 27-year-old man’s death. an accident after “Intoxication from a mixture of ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone” caused him to choke and vomit.

An investigation by Southlake Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency resulted in Kay’s arrest in August. He was charged in the US District Court in Fort Worth with supplying counterfeit fentanyl-laced oxycodone to Skaggs, resulting in his death and conspiring to “Possessing with the intent to distribute” fentanyl-containing substances since at least 2017

Kay, who pleaded not guilty, is due to appear in court in mid-August. He is the only person known to have been charged in connection with the death.

The testimony supports the criminal prosecution against Kay, accused by DEA special agent Geoffrey Lindenberg, “but for fentanyl in [Skaggs’] system, [Skaggs] won’t die.” and Kay and Skags “Have a history of drug transactions Including several exchanges, Kay was given the drug oxycodone for [Skaggs] and others from Kay’s source and distribute these drugs to [Skaggs] and others.”

“I also learned that Kay would distribute these pills. [Skaggs] and others at work and while they are working,” Lindenberg wrote.

The Angels hired former federal prosecutor Ariel Neuman to conduct an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding Skaggs’ death and have repeatedly denied that anyone on the management team knew about the “death of the people”. “Any employee who provides opioids to any player.”

In October 2019, Michael Molfetta, Kay’s attorney at Newport Beach, called the attempt to blame Kay for the death “due to the fact that it was a crime.” “short-sighted and misunderstood”

“When all the facts came out,” Molfetta said, “I thought what happened was a tragedy. …but to say that it is someone’s fault is not correct.”

Around the same time, Mead told The Times that Kay had never spoken to him that Skaggs might be on opioids.

“Eric and I have talked a lot over the years,” Mead said. “Tyler and Opium weren’t one of them.”

Kay’s employment with the Angels ended in November 2019, according to his LinkedIn page.

“The angel didn’t kick Kay out. Did not remove Kay from the clubhouse. and did not limit Kay’s access to players like Tyler,” the lawsuit filed in L.A. states, “The Angels also failed to stop Tyler’s drug use when they knew or should. know about it.”

After Skaggs starred at Santa Monica High School The angels recruited him in the first round in 2009. He walked a winding path to the big leagues. including his recovery from 19 months of surgery on his elbow before becoming a key member of the team The initial rotation of the team

The case alleges that the angels have A “toxic environment that pressures players to play through pain” and players who missed games due to injury were “mocked”.

“Tyler quickly realized he was expected to throw even though he was injured,” the petition said.

Mead worked for the Angels for 40 years before becoming president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, in June 2019. He announced in April that he would be resigning. position on the basis of family responsibilities

The lawsuit alleges that Mead was “negligent in many ways”, in which it was “duty to stop any interaction between Kay and the player when he knew or should have known that Kay was supplying players with dangerous drugs, including Tyler.” ” Kay is in rehab. “Several times while being hired by Angel,” the lawsuit said, and was hospitalized in 2019 “because of an overdose of drugs.”

Rusty Hardin, an attorney for the Skaggs family in Houston, said in a statement that the decision to file the lawsuit was “very difficult.”

“But they wanted to reach the bottom of the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s tragic and completely inevitable death, and to hold individuals and entities, including angels, to be held accountable for the actions that contributed to this. Born,” Hardin said, “while the federal grand jury indictment was clear and painful. If not for the fentanyl in counterfeit pills supplied by Angels employee Eric Kay. Tyler will be alive today.”

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