Family of Tyler Skaggs files civil suits against Angels, two former employees

The family of Tyler Skaggs filed two civil lawsuits against the Angels and two employees on Tuesday, claiming negligence, gross negligence and wrongful death in the case of the pitcher who died after ingesting opioids nearly two years ago.

The suits — filed in Texas and California — claim that Eric Kay had supplied the drugs to Skaggs, and that the Angels and Tim Mead were aware or should have been aware enough to prevent the activity. The suit also claims that Kay was supplying drugs to “at least five other Angels players.”

The two complaints seek a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Kay, a longtime Angels media relations employee, has been charged in federal court with conspiracy to possess with intention to distribute a controlled substance, and distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury. His trial is set to begin Aug. 16 in Texas. He faces a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

Mead had spent four decades working in various capacities with the Angels before leaving in May 2019 — less than two months before Skaggs’ death on July 1 — to become president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Earlier this year Mead resigned from that job to spend more time with his family in Southern California.

Neither Mead nor Kay’s attorney, Michael Molfetta, immediately responded to messages on Tuesday.

Months after Skaggs died, when the Tarrant County coroner released findings that his death was caused by fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid, the pitcher’s family hired Houston-based attorney Rusty Hardin to help them consider civil action.

“As you might expect, the decision to file these complaints has been a very difficult one for Tyler’s parents and his wife,” Hardin 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.

“As the federal grand jury indictment made plainly and painfully clear, were it not for the fentanyl in the counterfeit pill provided by Angels employee Eric Kay, Tyler would be alive today. And if the Angels had done a better job of supervising Eric Kay, Tyler would be alive today.”

The suit claims that the “Angels knew, or should have known, that Kay was supplying illicit drugs to not only Tyler, but at least five other Angels players, i.e. 24% of the team’s active roster. Kay had a long history of drug abuse and the Angels knew about his problems with drug abuse and addiction.”

More to come on this story.


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