The situation surrounding the untimely death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs is murky at best, and it appears to be heading toward an ugly chapter. As of September 1, many details have come to light, including the fact that Skaggs had Fentanyl and oxycodone in his system at the time of his passing, along with a significant amount of alcohol. Additionally, the toxicology report indicates that Skaggs choked on his own vomit.
According to the LA Times, this story is nowhere near over. The Skaggs family and the Angels have each hired Texas-based attorneys, which is where Skaggs died on July 1. Additionally, the LA Times reports that there could be a wrongful-death suit on the way after the family learned that the circumstances surrounding Skaggs' death may involve an employee of the team.
"We're going to want to know how it came about that those drugs were ingested," lawyer Rusty Hardin told The Times, "and whether or not others are responsible for what happened."
Part of this investigation will involve determining if Skaggs obtained the drugs from a legal prescriber. If a team employee, instead of a registered physician, obtained those drugs for Skaggs, it's very possible that the team could be held at fault.
Orange County attorney Wiley Aitken told the LA Times that the Angels could be liable if "a team employee furnished the drugs to Skaggs, even without the knowledge of the team."
"Even though it's a third-party, somewhat rogue act, you could be held accountable for not monitoring your own employees," Aitken said in the article.
If this wrongful-death suit does proceed, the Angels could be facing damages near nine figures. It's possible that the family could sue for lost wages in upcoming seasons, which would take into account that Skaggs was set to hit free agency at the age of 29.
Additionally, Skaggs' wife, Carli, could also file a suit that seeks compensation for the wrongful loss of what would have been a long life of love, care, and comfort. In this instance, a jury would determine what amount of money would be appropriate to award to Carli, per Aitken.0comments
At this point, the wrongful-death suit could proceed but will require information from the ongoing investigations. Whether or not a team employee supplied the drugs to Skaggs will play a major role. Although simply filing a suit against the team does not necessarily mean that the family will be immediately receiving a massive payday from the Angels.
Back in 2016, singer Prince died of what authorities described as an accidental overdose of Fentanyl. His heirs filed a wrongful-death suit in 2018 against several health care providers, as well as Walgreen's, but that case is still pending. It's unlikely that any case filed by Skaggs' family would reach a resolution in a shorter period of time.