Who is Carli Skaggs? Judge approves Tyler Skaggs' widow's lawsuit against LA Angels over his drug-related death

The team's move to dismiss the lawsuit was denied by Judge Glenn Salter and a 20-day jury trial has been scheduled to begin on October 2, 2023

Who is Carli Skaggs? Judge approves Tyler Skaggs' widow's lawsuit against LA Angels over his drug-related death
Tyler Skaggs' widow Carli Skaggs, had filed a wrongful death and negligent hiring and supervision lawsuit against the LA Angels (John McCoy/Getty Images, @tskaggs45/Instagram)
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FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA: A California judge has approved the filing of a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Angels in relation to the drug-related death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. The team's move to dismiss the lawsuit was denied by Orange County Superior Court Judge Glenn Salter on Monday, October 31 and a 20-day jury trial has been scheduled to begin on October 2, 2023.

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Skaggs, 27, was discovered dead on July 1, 2019, in a hotel room in the Southlake neighborhood of Dallas, the day before the Angels were scheduled to play against the Texas Rangers in the opening of a four-game road trip. Skaggs reportedly choked to death on his own vomit, and a hazardous combination of alcohol, fentanyl, and oxycodone was found in his system, according to a coroner's report. Speaking on the tragic loss, Mike Trout, a close friend of Skaggs, remarked, "We lost a teammate, we lost a friend, a brother. We just gotta get through it. Skaggs was an unbelievable person."

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LA Angels employee Eric Kay gets 22 years prison in overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs

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Former Angels public relations employee Eric Kay was sentenced to 22 years in prison in Texas recently after being found guilty of conspiring to distribute the drugs that resulted in Skaggs' death and other offenses.

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim players lay their jerseys on the pitchers mound after they won a combined no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The entire Angels team wore Tyler Skaggs #45 jersey to honor him after his death on July 1. Angels won 13-0. Los Angeles Angels public relations employee Eric Kay is seen on left.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim players lay their jerseys on the pitchers mound after they won a combined no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, California (John McCoy/Getty Images)

Five major league players testified at the trial that they received oxycodone pills from Kay at various times between 2017 and 2019, the years he was accused of procuring drugs and distributing them to players at Angel Stadium. Their evidence was one of several that were presented during the trial.

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Carli Skaggs, Skaggs' widow, filed a wrongful death, and negligent hiring and supervision lawsuit against the Angels, claiming that team management was aware that Kay was giving players drugs but still allowed him to do so. The LA Angels had refuted the charge, but the judge declined their request for the lawsuit to be dismissed, stating that "enough factual allegations" existed for the case to go to trial.

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Tyler Skaggs wife Carli Skaggs, his mother Debbie Hetman stand next to step father Danny Hetman during the National Anthem before the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California.
Tyler Skaggs' wife Carli Skaggs, and his mother Debbie Hetman stand next to stepfather Danny Hetman during the National Anthem at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019, in Anaheim, California (John McCoy/Getty Images)

On behalf of Skaggs' widow and parents, respectively, two lawsuits were brought, one in Texas and the other in California. This year, the Angels consented to the parents' inclusion in the California lawsuit, and it is anticipated that the Texas lawsuit would be dropped.

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Who is Carli Skaggs? 

Carli Skaggs is the widow of the late athlete Tyler Skaggs. She is a travel consultant who gained notoriety when she testified in Kay's trial. Sadly, the couple was unable to celebrate their first wedding anniversary after getting married in 2018 as the athlete died in 2019.


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Carli testified at Kay's trial in February 2022 regarding the heavy drug use her husband was engaged in. She admitted that the angry texts she sent her husband on the day he died concerning his drinking problem did not accurately reflect her comprehension of the issues he was facing.

Carli has maintained a very quiet profile aside from her appearances during the trial. It was evident throughout the trial that she was still coping with the severe emotional toll that her husband's death had on her.

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