The Los Angeles Angels and the untimely passing of pitcher Tyler Skaggs are under investigation by three separate entities. The Southlake Police in Texas are leading the charge, but they are now joined by lawyer Rusty Hardin, who was hired by Skaggs' family, and Major League Baseball. Both Hardin and MLB want to determine if a member of the Angels franchise did indeed procure the opioids for Skaggs while the police are trying to determine if there was any foul play.
With so many parties involved, this situation is bound to get convoluted. Fortunately, Sports Illustrated employs a legal analyst named Michael McCann, and he set out to explain how the investigations will proceed and what important factors will be in play.
Who obtained the drugs for Skaggs will be critical in this investigation, but the timeline on the day of his death will be under heavy scrutiny.
Tyler Skaggs' family says the death “may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels.” They hired Rusty Hardin, who represented Roger Clemens in matters relating to the Mitchell Report. Full statement has been available @latimes: https://t.co/5t7tZaaiB1 pic.twitter.com/PlzFSZikiu— Maria Torres (@maria_torres3) August 30, 2019
Of course, it's critical to get a grasp on the opioids that were found in Skaggs' system. According to the federal Controlled Substances Act, both Fentanyl and oxycodone are Schedule II controlled substances. These two drugs are considered especially dangerous due to the potential for abuse and both psychological and physical dependence among users.
The only legal way to obtain these substances is to have a physician prescribe them due to the dangerous nature. The addictive qualities are a major concern, as is the fact that combining them with alcohol can have fatal results.
With the difficulty of procuring these substances, it is possible that someone provided them to Skaggs, which could be revealed with footage from surveillance cameras at the hotel. According to McCann, the investigators would be searching through footage to see if anyone accompanied Skaggs to his hotel room or brought anything to him.
Additionally, another factor that will be investigated by Hardin is whether Skaggs has a history with alcohol or opioids. This information should surface during interviews with coaches, trainers, and fellow players. Doctors will also be under investigation due to their connections with the substances in question.
If the investigation by Hardin reveals that someone illegally gave drugs to Skaggs, that individual would likely be charged with drug trafficking or possession with intent to distribute. However, that would not be the only potential outcome. The Skaggs family could also sue for negligence and wrongful death. Although that would heavily rely on whether or not the individual in question was tasked with protecting Skaggs, as well as their role in the death.
The investigation by Hardin, as well as the one by MLB, is in the early stages, so new information will inevitably see the light of day.