Deceased Pitcher’s Family Suing Los Angeles Angels For Negligence

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Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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The family of a Los Angeles Angels pitcher who died in a drug-related incident two years ago is suing the team and two former Angels employees for negligence.

Tyler Skaggs was 27 when he was found deceased in his Dallas, Texas, hotel room on July 1, 2019, just prior to the start of a four-game series against the Texas Rangers, The Associated Press (AP) reported. Skaggs died from choking on his own vomit caused by a toxic concoction of alcohol and drugs in his system, according to the coroner’s report. Fentanyl and oxycodone, the drugs found in Skagg’s system, were allegedly provided by former Angels communications director Eric Kay. The suits, one in California, the other in Texas, name the Angels, Kay and another Angels communications director Tim Mead, as defendants, according to The AP.

Kay was indicted in October by a federal grand jury for allegedly providing Skaggs with the drugs that played a major factor in the pitcher’s death, The AP reported. The indictment charged Kay with drug distribution and drug conspiracy, which respectively carry life and 20-year maximum sentences, according to The AP. After Skaggs’ death, Kay was put on leave and never returned to the team.

Mead, Kay’s superior, allegedly knew about Kay’s drug problems and his distribution of drugs to players, the lawsuit claimed, according to The AP. “In spite of this knowledge, the Angels continued to allow Kay to have unrestricted access to the players and even permitted him to accompany the team when it traveled for away games,” the lawsuit reportedly stated. Mead left the Angels just prior to Skaggs’ death to become the President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a role he departed from in May 2021, according to The AP. (RELATED: Angels Pitcher Dylan Bundy Vomits Against The Yankees)

“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 attorney said, according to the AP. “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,” Hardin concluded.