The family of former pitcher Tyler Skaggs has filed lawsuits against the Angels organization following his overdose death in 2019.
Skaggs’ widow, Carli, and his parents filed separate lawsuits. Carli filed the suit in California, while Skaggs’ parents chose to file one in Texas – where the pitcher was found dead.
In addition to the Angels as an organization, the family is suing former team communications director Eric Kay, who told authorities that he regularly purchased drugs for Skaggs, and Kay’s former boss, Tim Mead. The crux of the lawsuit is that the Angels were negligent in allowing Kay, a longtime opioid abuser, to have access to players, and that Mead failed to properly supervise him.
“As you might expect, the decision to file these complaints has been a very difficult one for Tyler’s parents and his wife,” Rusty Hardin, the Skaggs family’s attorney, said in a statement. “Nothing will ease the pain and heartache of losing their only child and, for Carli, her husband and soulmate. But they want to get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s tragic, untimely and completely avoidable death, and to hold the individuals and entities — including the Angels — accountable for the actions that contributed to it.
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The Angels quickly sent out a statement to defend themselves against Tyler Skaggs’ family’s lawsuit.
“The Angels have been informed that a civil suit has been filed by the Skaggs family,” a team spokesperson said in a statement via CBS Sports. “In 2019, Angels Baseball hired a former federal prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation to comprehensively understand the circumstances that led to Tyler’s tragic death. The investigation confirmed that the Organization did not know that Tyler was using opioids, nor was anyone in management aware or informed of any employee providing opioids to any player.”
A toxicology report revealed that Tyler Skaggs “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone” and his cause of death was believed to be “terminal aspiration of gastric contents”, meaning he choked on his own vomit.
Tyler Skaggs was just 27-years-old.