Skaggs Family Files Lawsuit Against Los Angeles Angels 

Skaggs Family Files Lawsuit Against Los Angeles Angels 

by June 30, 2021 1 comment

Thursday marks the two-year anniversary of the death of former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Tuesday, attorneys representing the widow and family of Skaggs filed a wrongful death suit against his former employer. The filing includes the names of former Angels employees Eric Kay and Tim Mead as defendants. Furthermore, the lawsuit also accuses the club of supplying illegal drugs to other Angels’ players as well as Skaggs. 

The 27-year-old Skaggs died of a drug overdose in the Angels’ team hotel in Arlington, Texas on July 1, 2019. An investigation by local law enforcement with the cooperation of MLB determined the death accidental. Additional details indicated the Angels communication director Kay as Skaggs’ supplier. The MLB investigation determined Kay’s involvement with Skaggs was isolated, not influenced by Angels management. Tuesday’s lawsuit is specifically aimed at the Angels organization as the party responsible for his death. 

The Lawsuit

According to the Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna, the lawsuit claims the Angels “created a toxic environment in which players were pressured to play through pain, exposing the LHP to risks of addictive pain medications.” Additionally, the Times states the suit specifically mentions “players who missed games due to injuries were called ‘p*ssies’ and ridiculed.” 

ESPN’s T.J. Quinn further elaborated, “in addition to the Angels as an organization, the family is suing former team communications director 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.”

The Los Angeles Angels Statement

“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 (Angels) did not know that Tyler was using opioids, nor was anyone in management aware or informed of any employee providing opioids to a player.” The club’s statement continued, “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.” 

Precedent

Since Skaggs death caused by illegal drugs while on a team road trip, the Angels are a logical target for a suit. In 2003, the family of late Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler filed suit against the makers of the ephedra drug that killed him. In that case, they reached a $1 million settlement. Unlike the Bechler case, the drugs taken by Skaggs were not prescription but illegally purchased from Kay. The key to this latest lawsuit will be for Skaggs family to prove the Angels were clearly, negligently influencing Skaggs’ drug addiction. 

The suit references “five additional Angels players” being supplied drugs by the Angels. It’s unclear whether any of these players will be called to testify in this pending lawsuit. A settlement out of court is a real possibility as the Angels will want to avoid any additional embarrassment. Stay tuned as more information develops in these allegations against the Angels.


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Lifelong baseball fan, writer, IBWAA member, and source for all things Los Angeles Angels. Future, current, and past Halos news. Follow on Twitter @_HaloLife.

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  1. Jim Darling
    #1 Jim Darling 8 July, 2021, 22:25

    Sad but true, Tyler Skaggs paid for and took street drugs on his own accord, the grim reality, he only has himself to blame.

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