Skaggs' widow, parents file suits vs. Angels
The parents and widow of former Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs filed two lawsuits on Tuesday, naming the Angels and two former club employees as defendants, claiming negligence, gross negligence and wrongful death.
The lawsuits -- one filed in California by his parent and one in Texas on behalf of his widow -- claim that former employees Eric Kay and Tim Mead were aware -- or should have been aware -- of the activities that led to the death of Skaggs.
Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his hotel room in Dallas on July 1, 2019, ahead of a series with the Texas Rangers.
The Angels, through spokesperson Marie Garvey, released a statement regarding the lawsuits filed by the Skaggs family.
“The Angels have been informed that a civil suit has been filed by the Skaggs family,” Garvey said in a 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 organization did not know that Tyler was using opioids, nor was anyone in management aware or informed of any employee providing opioids to any player.
“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.”
Kay was indicted by a federal grand jury in October for allegedly providing Skaggs with the drugs that caused his death and awaits trial in August. He has pleaded not guilty.
Mead, vice president of communications for the Angels for 22 years, was Kay’s superior, and the lawsuit claims Mead was aware of prior drug use by both Skaggs and Kay. Mead left the club just prior to Skaggs’ passing to become president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He recently resigned from that position.
ESPN.com cited this statement from Mead's attorney: "Before Tyler Skaggs' tragic death, Tim Mead was not aware, informed, or had any knowledge whatsoever that Tyler may have used opioids, or that Eric Kay or any Angels employee had ever provided opioids to any player. Any statement to the contrary is reckless and false."