Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jay Ford, III, ruled during a hearing for motion summary adjudication, that Ed Buck’s 2022 convictions for the distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death and maintaining a drug-involved premises make him liable for the 2019 death of Timothy Dean. With this ruling, Dean’s sisters can move forward on their claim of monetary damages in their wrongful death civil lawsuit against Buck which is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles on Aug. 27, 2023.
Dean was found dead of a drug overdose inside Buck’s West Hollywood home Jan. 7, 2019. It was the second time in less than two years that a Black man had died of an overdose at the former Democratic donor’s home. On Apr. 14, 2022, Buck was found guilty of two counts of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death, four counts of distribution of methamphetamine, one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises, and two counts of enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.
In his ruling, Ford said, “Plaintiffs establish the essential elements to establish Buck’s liability on their 1st cause of action for wrongful death, 6th cause of action for violation of the DDLA (Drug Dealer Liability Act of California) and 7th cause of action for premises liability.”
“I’m happy about this ruling because it confirms our position that Ed Buck is liable for the death of Timothy Dean and shuts down Buck’s position that his convictions could not be used against him in the civil cases,” said attorney Nana Gyamfi. “We’re now able to take the Court’s findings here and use them in the wrongful death lawsuit against Buck for the death of Gemmel Moore as well as in the civil lawsuit filed by Buck’s living victims.”
A motion for summary adjudication is a procedural hearing that allows a court to determine the merits of a particular claim.
Under the Drug Dealer Liability Act of California certain family members of drug users who died or were injured as a result of the drugs they used, may sue the drug dealer for damages caused by the drugs they sold.
The elements of negligence under premises liability says that the defendant’s ownership, lease, occupation, or control of the property, and their negligence in the use or maintenance of the property, caused harm and that defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing harm. In this case, Buck’s conviction for maintaining a maintaining a drug-involved premises that resulted in the death of Timothy Dean established Buck’s liability.
Prior to the hearing’s conclusion, Buck’s attorney Ludlow Creary indicated that he would be submitting a motion to withdraw from the case.