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Almost two years after his death, the parents and wife of former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs reportedly filed wrongful death lawsuits in both California and Texas against the baseball organization. The Skaggs family is suing former Angels Communications Director Tim Lead and former Angels vice president of communications Eric Kay and the Angels organization for negligence and gross negligence, in addition to wrongful death.
While in the Dallas area to play against the Texas Rangers, the 27-year-old pitcher was found dead in his Southlake hotel room in July 2019. An autopsy later revealed he had fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his system. In the wrongful death and negligence lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court obtained by PEOPLE, his widow Carli alleges that the team “knew or should have known” of his drug use.
Moreover, the complaint also reportedly claims Kay supplied illicit substances to several players and that Mead was aware of Kay’s alleged drug use and drug distribution. “Kay had a long history of drug abuse, and the Angels knew about his problems with drug abuse and addiction,” Skaggs’ widow reportedly alleged in the complaint, which cited previous rehab treatments and overdose “at least once” that would indicate the team’s knowledge.
The complaint further stated that The Angels owed Tyler Skaggs a duty to provide a safe place to work and play baseball, and that the organization breached their duty when they allowed Kay, a drug addict, complete access to Tyler, as well as when they allegedly allowed Kay to provide Tyler with dangerous illegal drugs. “The Angels should have known Kay was dealing drugs to players. Tyler died as a result of the Angels’ breach of their duties,” the complaint reportedly states.
“The decision to file these complaints has been a very difficult one for Tyler’s parents and his wife,” the Houston-based attorney representing the Skaggs reportedly said. “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.”
On the other hand, the Angels hired independent investigators to look into the former pitcher’s death, which concluded that the MLB organization had no knowledge. Referring to the 2019 investigation, Angels spokesperson Marie Garvey reiterated this to PEOPLE and said, “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.”
She added, “The lawsuits are entirely without merit and the allegations are baseless and irresponsible. The Angels Organization strongly disagrees with the claims made by the Skaggs family and we will vigorously defend these lawsuits in court.”