Judge approves lawsuit against Angels over death of Tyler Skaggs

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FULLERTON, Calif. — A California judge authorizes a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Angels for the drug-related death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

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Orange County Superior Court Judge Glenn Salter on Monday denied the team’s motion to dismiss and set the start of a 20-day jury trial for October 2, 2023.

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Skaggs, 27, was found dead on July 1, 2019, in a hotel room in the Dallas suburb of Southlake on the same day the Angels were supposed to open a four-game road trip against the Texas Rangers.

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A coroner’s report said Skaggs died of suffocation from vomit and a toxic mixture of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone was in his system.

Last month, Eric Kay, a former Angels public relations employee, was sentenced in Texas to 22 years in federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy and drug distribution that led to Skaggs’ death.


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The trial included testimony from five major league players who said they received oxycodone pills from Kay at various times from 2017 to 2019, the years he was accused of obtaining pills and giving them. to the players at Angel Stadium.

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Skaggs’ widow, Carli Skaggs, sued the Angels for wrongful death and negligent hiring and supervision, alleging team officials knew Kay was distributing drugs to players, but promoted him and allowed him to continue to access it.

The Angels denied the charge, but the judge denied a request by the team to dismiss the lawsuit, saying, « There are enough factual allegations » to proceed with the trial.

Two lawsuits were filed, one in Texas on behalf of Skaggs’ parents and one in California for his widow. The Angels agreed this year to allow the parents to join the California lawsuit, and the Texas case is expected to be withdrawn.


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