Skaggs' parents filed the lawsuits in Texas against Skaggs and his wife in California. They name Skaggs as the defendant, as well as Eric Kay and Tim Mead, former Los Angeles communications directors. The family did not specify how much money they are seeking in the complaint.
Skaggs (27), was found dead in his hotel room in suburban Dallas on July 1, 2019, just before the beginning of a four-game series against Texas Rangers.
A federal grand jury indicted Kay in October for drug charges. He allegedly provided Skaggs drugs that led to his overdose death.
According to Fort Worth, Texas indictment, Kay was accused of drug distribution and drug conspiracy in Skaggs overdose death. These charges can lead to a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a life sentence. His trial is scheduled to begin on August 16.
According to a coroner's report, Skaggs died from a combination of alcohol and drugs such as fentanyl or oxycodone. Kay was also accused of providing the drug.
Kay was the Angels' director for communications and served as their public relations representative on many road trips. After Skaggs' passing, he was put on leave and never returned to the team.
Kay was Kay's boss. The lawsuits claim that Mead knew of Kay's drug addiction and that he was selling drugs to players.
According to the suit, "Despite this knowledge, Kay was allowed to continue to have unrestricted accessibility to the players and even allowed him to accompany it when it traveled for away matches."
Eric D. Vandevelde, Mead's lawyer, denied the allegations.
"Before Tyler Skaggs tragic death, Tim Mead wasn't aware, informed or had any knowledge whatsoever about Tyler using opioids or that Eric Kay, any Angels employee, had ever given opioids to any player. Vandevelde stated in a statement that any statement contrary to this is recklessly false.
Mead was elected President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in April 2019. Mead announced that he had resigned from the Hall of Fame in May 2021. He stated in a statement, "these 22 months have been difficult in maintaining my responsibilities."
Skaggs is a heroin user, according to team officials. They also didn't know that any of their employees were selling drugs to the players.
Marie Garvey, Angels spokesperson, stated in a statement that Angels baseball had hired a former federal prosecutor to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances leading to Tyler's tragic passing.
"The investigation revealed that Tyler did not use opioids. Management was also unaware that any employees were providing opioids to any players.
"The lawsuits have no merit, and the allegations are unfounded and reckless. The Angels organization strongly disagrees the Skaggs family's claims and will vigorously defend them in court.
Skaggs' parents, Debbie Hetman (Texas) and Darrell Skaggs (Texas), filed their lawsuit in Tarrant County District Court, Fort Worth. Carli Skaggs was his wife and filed her complaint at Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Rusty Hardin, Tyler's family attorney, stated that Tyler's parents made the difficult decision to file the complaints. "Nothing can ease the grief and pain of losing their only child, and for Carli, her husband, and soulmate. They want to find out the truth about Tyler's untimely, tragic and totally avoidable death and hold those responsible, including the Angels, accountable for their actions.
Tyler would still be alive today, as the federal grand jury indictment makes clear and painfully obvious. Tyler's death was not possible without the fentanyl found in the counterfeit pills provided by Eric Kay, an Angels employee. Tyler would still be here today if Eric Kay had been properly supervised by the Angels.