Lil Peep’s Management Must Face Wrongful Death Trial, Judge Rules
The wrongful death and negligence lawsuit filed by Lil Peep’s mother Liza Womack against her late son’s management team will move forward, Rolling Stone reports. At a court hearing in Los Angeles today, Judge Teresa Beaudet upheld Womack’s 2019 lawsuit—which centers on the events leading to her son’s death at age 21 by drug overdose while on tour—and rejected a request for dismissal from First Access Entertainment (FAE). Tour manager Belinda Mercer and FAE must face the lawsuit, which heads to trial in March 2023.
FAE, a management and label services company that oversaw Peep’s career, centered their request on testimony from Gothboicliq artist Cold Hart. A portion of Cold Hart’s deposition was thrown out by Judge Beaudet as inadmissible hearsay. The management team also claimed that Womack failed to provide concrete evidence linking FAE employees to the drugs that killed Peep.
“There’s no question there’s a triable issue as to whether [Mercer] provided the drugs or not,” Judge Beaudet reportedly said at the hearing. “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.”
Judge Beaudet dismissed Womack’s claims against one defendant—Peep’s manager Bryant “Chase” Ortega. She said the evidence Womack provided did not link Ortega to any of the alleged negligence that resulted in Peep’s death.
Today’s hearing comes after a 372-page compendium of evidence was unsealed last month, revealing deposition transcripts and screenshots of text messages between Mercer and other members of Peep’s tour management team. Womack’s lawyers said the texts “reveal FAE tour management as dangerous, discordant, inept, and engaged in conduct that contributed to [Peep]’s death.” In her deposition, Mercer repeatedly invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked about illegal drugs.
Pitchfork has reached out to legal representatives for Womack, FAE, and Mercer for comment.