The lawsuit against late rapper Lil Peep’s record label First Access Entertainment will proceed to trial according to Rolling Stone, which reports that a Los Angeles judge denied the label’s request to dismiss the suit filed by Peep’s mother Liza Kathryn Womack.
Womack filed the suit in 2019, two years after the rapper’s death from an overdose of fentanyl in November of 2017, citing negligence and wrongful death due to FAE’s tour manager Belinda Mercer providing artists on the Come Over When You’re Sober tour drugs including cocaine, ketamine, Percocet, and Xanax. Among Womack’s other bases for suing were allegations that no one on the tour bus was trained in “life-saving apparatuses” for treating overdose such as Narcan or defibrillators — neither of which were provided — nor even to recognize signs of an overdose in the first place.
Judge Teresa A. Beaudet declared that the evidence provided by Peep’s mother was enough to establish a “causal connection” with Peep’s death, although she also ruled statements from Peep’s fellow musician and labelmate Cold Hart inadmissible as hearsay. Hart had claimed Peep’s managers telling the rapper to make “himself sick from taking a bunch of Xanax” to get out of a show without losing money. However, because he had not personally witnessed this, it could not be considered evidence.
Part of his statement was eligible though, as he was able to attest to Mercer providing the drugs to those on the bus. Beaudet acknowledged this part in her ruling, saying, “There’s no question there’s a triable issue as to whether (Mercer) provided the drugs or not. If you’re going to create an environment like that where drugs are flowing, and you’re providing it, and hey, you actually don’t have any life-saving device or any Narcan to help people who are going to have a problem with these drugs, it seems to me you are creating a very dangerous situation there… The fact (that the defendants) didn’t give the decedent adequate protection for that environment, I think that could add up to causation here.”
Unfortunately for Womack, Beaudet did dismiss similar charges against Peep’s co-manager, Bryant “Chase” Ortega, saying that the evidence did not show Ortega “directed” the negligence leading to Peep’s death. Peep’s mom also says that the label owes her $4 million from the rapper’s merch and music sales, which is being withheld in an effort to stall her lawsuit against them.