Actor Jim Carrey is Sued Over Drug Death of Girlfriend
When we think of wrongful death cases, we often think of car or truck wrecks or accidents at a business. However, a case involving Hollywood actor Jim Carrey highlights the fact a death by dangerous drugs can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit against the person accused of supplying them.
The case, which was reported by the BBC, was filed by the estranged husband of Carrey’s former girlfriend.
Jim Carrey (By Georges Biard)
The famous actor hit back in the media, saying the estranged husband of his former girlfriend is trying to "exploit" him by filing the wrongful death case. Carrey is denying the claims.
Court documents revealed Carrey is being sued for allegedly obtaining drugs under a false name for Cathriona White. His ex-girlfriend died of an overdose last year.
The Hollywood actor has vowed to fight the case.
The wrongful death lawsuit comes in the wake of the death of Cathriona White, a 30-year-old hairstylist, and beautician a year ago. She was found dead in her Los Angeles. It was originally believed she had committed suicide.
The lawsuit filed by White's widower Mark Burton alleged Carrey illegally obtained "highly addictive" drugs. It said he used the bogus name Arthur King. The claim said he gave her the prescription drugs, and they played a role in her death, CNN reported.
The lawsuit states the Los Angeles County Coroner eventually ruled that Carrey’s girlfriend died from a fatal overdose of prescription drugs including propranolol, Ambien, and a "massive dose" of Percocet.
Burton claims White did not have prescriptions for these drugs. On visiting her home, the coroner discovered the drugs were in pill bottles prescribed to King, attorneys acting for Burton claim.
According to her estranged husband, White had a history of depression and had attempted suicide before. Burton claimed Carrey acted with "reckless disregard of causing serious harm and injury" to his girlfriend.
This is not the first time a celebrity has been involved in a wrongful death action.
Celebrities Involved in Wrongful Death Cases
1 O.J. Simpson
The acquittal of former football star and actor O.J. Simpson over the killing of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman was one of the most infamous criminal cases of recent decades.
But Simpson lost a wrongful death lawsuit after the trial. The families of Brown and Goldman were awarded $33.5 million in 1997 in compensatory damages. Reports stated Simpson paid them almost nothing.
2 Phil and Brynn Hartman
Phil Hartman was a comedian and a Saturday Night Live actor. His wife Brynn shot him dead in 1998 and then killed herself. Brynn’s brother sued the drug company Pfizer which manufactured the anti-depressant Zoloft. He alleged the drug made her unbalanced and let to the tragedy. A confidential settlement was reached with Pfizer. Zoloft has been the subject of many lawsuits. See our Virginia dangerous drug lawyers page.
3 Nancy Grace
The TV host was sued in 2006 for wrongful death by the relatives of a young mother from Florida who killed herself a few days after she appeared on Grace’s show. Melinda Duckett was the mother of a missing boy. She was not the suspect but was angrily grilled by Grace. The Duckett family said the exchange caused emotional distress, and she took her life hours before the show was due to be aired. A settlement of $200,000 was reached, according to reports.
Most wrongful death cases don’t involve celebrities. They involve ordinary people. It could be a worker who dies in an accident at a shipyard in Hampton Roads when he wasn’t given proper protection; it could be a family killed by a drunk driver or a sleepy trucker on I-264 in Virginia Beach. You may have lost your family member because of a dangerous drug or in an accident at a store or a pool. If you have lost a loved one, you will face many issues. Often a death causes financial hardship.
Call our Virginia wrongful death legal team for help at (757) 455-0077. Our consultations are free of charge, and we can come to you.