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#pounditWednesday, January 19, 2022

Articles tagged: Tyler Skaggs

Angels accused of withholding information in Tyler Skaggs case

A former Los Angeles Angels employee is awaiting trial after he was charged with distributing the drugs that led to Tyler Skaggs’ death, and the team is now being accused of withholding information in the case.

Former Angels communications director Eric Kay has been charged with distributing the fentanyl that led to Skaggs’ overdose in July of 2019. Kay’s trial is set to begin in six weeks. According to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times, federal prosecutors filed a motion in Texas court on Monday claiming the Angels have refused to comply with a subpoena seeking information about members of the organization potentially distributing drugs.

“Put simply, it strains credulity to accept any assertion that the Angels’s organization has not a single document, record, or report for months after one of its pitchers overdosed and died on a trip taken by the team, for months after Kay confessed to another Angels employee that he was in [Skaggs’] room late on June 30, 2019, and witnessed [Skaggs] ingesting drugs; and for weeks after learning about allegations of drug distribution by employee(s) within the organization,” the motion states.

The motion asks the court to order the Angels to produce documents related to “drug distribution within the [Angels] organization” by next Monday. The Angels opposed the motion in court on Tuesday and said the team has “produced thousands of pages of documents and an entire computer hard drive to the government in response to at least five subpoenas and requests for information.” The team says the only documents that haven’t been turned over are “those protected by the attorney-client privilege and work product protections, including those relating to its internal investigation arising out of [Skaggs’] death.”

Kay has been charged with multiple counts of distributing fentanyl dating back to 2017. Prosecutors recently said that several MLB players will testify during the trial to receiving oxycodone from Kay between 2017 and 2019.

Federal prosecutors claim the Angels have documents that discuss how Kay has a history of opioid abuse and has distributed drugs to members of the organization. They say the team also has documents that discuss people other than Kay “unlawfully distributing drugs to players or others in the organization.”

Skaggs, who was 27, died after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room with fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system on July 1, 2019. Before he was charged, Kay had admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. He said two other Angels employees, one of which was former vice president of communications Tim Mead, knew about Skaggs’ drug use.

The family of Skaggs filed a lawsuit against the Angels earlier this year accusing the organization of wrongful death and negligence.

Angels issue response to Tyler Skaggs lawsuit

The family of late pitcher Tyler Skaggs filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, and the team promptly issued a response.

A lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Skaggs’ widow, Carli. The complaint accuses the Angels of wrongful death and negligence. Former Angels communications director Eric Kay and vice president of communications Tim Mead are also named as defendants.

The Angels issued a statement in response to the lawsuit and called it “entirely without merit.” They said an independent investigation in 2019 determined that no one within the organization knew Skaggs was using drugs. You can see the full statement below:

Skaggs, who was 27, died after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room with fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system on July 1, 2019. Former Angels communications director Eric Kay was charged last year with distributing the fentanyl that contributed to Skaggs’ overdose.

Before he was charged, Kay had admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. He said two other Angels employees, one of which was former vice president of communications Tim Mead, knew about Skaggs’ drug use.

The Angels could have faced a significant fine from Major League Baseball if it was determined that they knew of Skaggs’ drug use, but MLB never penalized the team.

Family of Tyler Skaggs sues Angels over pitcher’s death

Former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of a drug overdose nearly two years ago, and his family is now suing the team for wrongful death.

According to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times, a lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Skaggs’ widow, Carli. The complaint accuses the Angels of wrongful death and negligence. Former Angels communications director Eric Kay and vice president of communications Tim Mead are also named as defendants.

Skaggs, who was 27, died after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room with fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system on July 1, 2019. Kay was charged last year with distributing the fentanyl that contributed to Skaggs’ overdose.

Before he was charged, Kay had admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. He said two other Angels employees, one of which was Mead, knew about Skaggs’ drug use. The Angels said in a statement last year that no one with the team’s management was aware Skaggs was abusing drugs.

“The Angels breached their duty when they allowed Kay, a drug addict, complete access to Tyler,” the lawsuit reads. “The Angels also breached their duty when they allowed Kay to provide Tyler with dangerous illegal drugs. The Angels should have known Kay was dealing drugs to players. Tyler died as a result of the Angels’ breach of their duties.”

The lawsuit does not seek a specific amount in damages.

The Angels could have faced a significant fine from Major League Baseball if it was determined that they knew of Skaggs’ drug use, but MLB never penalized the team.

Ex-Angels employee Eric Kay charged with fetanyl distribution in Tyler Skaggs’ death

A former Los Angeles Angels employee has been charged with distributing the fentanyl that contributed to the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs a little over a year ago.

Skaggs, who was 27, died after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room with fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system on July 1, 2019. A grand jury launched an investigation back in March into Skaggs’ death, and former Angels director of communications Eric Kay was charged on Friday with distributing fentanyl to Skaggs. Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times has more of the details.

Kay had previously admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. He also said two other former Angels employees knew about Skaggs’ drug use. The Angels released a statement on Friday saying an independent investigation showed that “no one in management was aware, or informed, of any employee providing opioids to any player, nor that Tyler was using opioids.

The Angels could have faced a significant fine if it was determined that they were aware of Skaggs using opioids. It’s unclear if the league also conducted an investigation and came to the same conclusion as the Angels.

Tyler Skaggs’ death being investigated by grand injury

Tyler Skaggs

The death of former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs could eventually result in criminal charges, as the case is now under investigation by a grand jury.

According to a report from Bill Shaikin and Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times, a Texas grand jury has been hearing evidence that could lead to criminal charges related to Skaggs’ death. Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor, told the Times that the involvement of a grand jury in the case is “significant.”

“It means there’s at least some concern about how widespread this incident might be by those who provided drugs, were involved in the activities, knew about them, may have made misrepresentations, whatever the connection might be,” Levenson explained.

Skaggs died on July 1, 2019, after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room in Texas. An autopsy that was publicly released nearly two months later revealed that he had fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system. At least six players who were with the Angels at the time of Skaggs’ death have been interviewed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA has been investigating how Skaggs may have obtained fentanyl, and that could be related to the grand jury investigation.

Eric Kay, the former director of communications for the Angels, told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. Kay also said two other former Angels employees, including his former supervisor Tim Mead, knew of Skaggs’ opioid use. Mead left the Angels in June to become the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Kay had not been called to testify in front of a grand jury as of Monday, according to the LA Times report.

The Angels have denied having any knowledge of a team employee providing drugs to Skaggs. If it is determined that the team knew of Skaggs’ drug use, a significant fine could be forthcoming.

Report: Angels could be fined up to $2 million for not reporting Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use

Tyler Skaggs

The Los Angeles Angels could be fined up to $2 million by the commissioner for not reporting Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use.

A report published by ESPN on Saturday stated that Angels communications director Eric Kay admitted to federal investigators that he used and supplied Skaggs with drugs since at least 2017. Kay told federal investigators that at least two other Angels employees knew of Skaggs’ drug use.

According to ESPN, Kay said that ex-vice president of communications Tim Mead, who took a job with the Baseball Hall of Fame in June, knew of Skaggs’ drug use. The Los Angeles Times also reported that Tom Taylor, the team’s traveling secretary, knew of Skaggs’ drug use, according to Kay.

Team officials are supposed to report to the commissioner’s office any knowledge of players using drugs. The commissioner could fine the team $2 million for a failure to report and could ban any employee from MLB for life. According to ESPN, the extent of any punishment could depend on how high level of a team official knew about Skaggs’ use and did not report it.

In a statement issued Saturday, the Angels denied any knowledge of Skaggs’ drug use.

Eric Kay: Ex-Angels PR boss Tim Mead knew of Skaggs’ drug use in 2017

Tyler Skaggs

ESPN’s story on a Los Angeles Angels employee contained a lot of troubling allegations, but one of the most notable ones is that multiple Angels employees allegedly knew of Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use.

One of those employees is Eric Kay, the team’s director of communications, who told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs. According to T.J. Quinn of Outside the Lines, Kay told federal investigators that two other team employees knew that Skaggs was using opioids well before he died from an overdose. While one employee remains unnamed, the other is Kay’s former supervisor, ex-vice president of communications Tim Mead.

Kay and Mead were close, as evidenced by this June post in which Kay acknowledged Mead’s influence when the latter departed the team in June to become president of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Kay alleged that he first told Mead about Skaggs’ drug use in 2017. Kay’s mother, Sandy, told ESPN that she saw texts sent by her son to Mead stating that the organization needed to get Skaggs “off his back.”

Mead denied that he had any knowledge of Skaggs’ drug use when contacted by ESPN.

The Angels have also denied any knowledge of team employees providing players with opioids. Under the league’s drug policy, teams who are aware that a player is using a Drug of Abuse are required to report it to Major League Baseball.

Angels deny knowledge of team employee providing drugs to Tyler Skaggs

Angels logo

The Los Angeles Angels were quick to respond to a damning ESPN story about widespread opiate abuse in the team clubhouse.

In a statement, Angels president John Carpino denied having any knowledge that a team employee had provided narcotics to any player. He added that the team has a “zero tolerance” policy toward such a thing and would continue to cooperate in the investigation into Tyler Skaggs’ death.

This is about the only response the Angels could have considering how damaging the ESPN report would be if true. It is alleged that a team employee provided Skaggs with opioids regularly, and did the same for other players. It is also alleged that two other Angels employees knew what was going on. The report feels like the tip of the iceberg in an investigation into Skaggs’ death that will continue in the months to come.

Report: Angels employee Eric Kay provided, did drugs with Tyler Skaggs

Tyler Skaggs

New information in the case of Tyler Skaggs’ death was reported on Saturday that provides more background on the matter and shares the role a Los Angeles Angels team employee played in the matter.

Skaggs died on July 1 while the Angels were in Texas to face the Rangers after choking on his vomit. An autopsy revealed the presence of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in the pitcher’s system. After the autopsy report was made public in late August, Skaggs’ family released a statement saying they were investigating the potential involvement of an Angels employee in Skaggs’ death.

Now we know what was going on.

According to a report published by ESPN Outside the Lines’ TJ Quinn, Eric Kay, the Angels’ director of communications, told Drug Enforcement Administration agents that he provided and abused oxycodone with Skaggs. Kay also reportedly told investigators that he knew of at least five other Angels players who were using opiates. Moreover, Kay says at least two other Angels employees knew about Skaggs’ drug use long before the pitcher’s death this year.

According to Quinn’s report, Kay was a drug hookup for Skaggs and had been obtaining them for the pitcher for at least two years. Quinn’s report says Skaggs would send Venmo payments to Kay ranging from $150-$600 for the drugs.

Kay reportedly illegally obtained six oxycodone pills prior to the Angels’ trip to Texas and gave three of them to Skaggs. Kay did not believe the pills he provided to Skaggs were the ones the pitcher took the day he died. The reason is Skaggs typically ingested the pills immediately after receiving them from Kay and Skaggs also messaged Kay seeking more pills the day the team left for Texas.

Kay says Skaggs messaged him to come to the pitcher’s room the day Skaggs died. Kay told investigators Skaggs snorted three lines of crushed substances — two of which Kay believed could have been oxycodone. Kay did not recognize the third line.

Kay began abusing opioids in 1998 after the death of his father, according to Kay’s mother. Kay, 45, has been with the Angels since 1996. He is in outpatient treatment for substance abuse and has been placed on paid leave from the Angels, per Quinn.

Kay was hospitalized in April for a drug overdose and reportedly was messaged by Skaggs at the time, who was seeking drugs.

Kay told investigators that Angels longtime Vice President of Communications, Tim Mead, who now works with the Baseball Hall of Fame, had known about Skaggs’ drug use since 2017. Kay told investigators that a second Angels employee knew of Skaggs’ drug use.

An Angels spokesperson told ESPN that they were “shocked” to hear the report and denied the team knew about Skaggs’ drug use.

MLB teams officials are required to report any knowledge of drug use by a player to the commissioner’s office immediately. Quinn reports that no report was ever made to the league office.

Report: DEA investigating Tyler Skaggs death due to fentanyl involvement

Tyler Skaggs

The federal government is getting involved in the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

According to a report from ESPN’s TJ Quinn published Wednesday, the Drug Enforcement Agency is investigating how Skaggs may have obtained fentanyl, which was one of the narcotics present in the pitcher’s system at the time of his death. Skaggs died on July 1 after choking on his vomit. He had fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system, according to an autopsy that was publicly released on Aug. 30.

In a statement issued the day the autopsy was released, Skaggs’ family accused an Angels employee of having involvement in the pitcher obtaining the drugs.

Fentanyl is an opioid that has been involved in the deaths of celebrities like Prince, Tom Petty, Lil Peep, and Mac Miller. The substance is said to be 100 times stronger than morphine. Deaths due to fentanyl overdoses have spiked in the U.S. in recent years