MNLA photo by Jay Martin

A judge Wednesday lifted a temporary stay that had been placed on a wrongful death lawsuit brought by three sisters whose brother died in the West Hollywood apartment of Democratic donor Ed Buck in 2019.

Joyce Jackson, Joann Campbell and Retha Singleton allege in their Santa Monica Superior Court lawsuit that Buck injected 55-year-old Timothy Dean on Jan. 7, 2019, with a lethal dose of crystal methamphetamine. Their court papers describe Buck as a “wealthy white man who has a well-documented history of isolating black men for perverted sexual encounters … in the confines of a drug den in his West Hollywood apartment.”

After a nine-day trial in July 2021, a federal jury found Buck 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 stemming from the deaths of Dean and another Black man, Gemmel Moore, who was found dead in Buck’s apartment in July 2017.

The 67-year-old Buck was sentenced in April to 30 years in prison.

In December, both sides in the civil suit agreed to put the case on hold pending the hearing of a post-trial motion in the criminal case on Feb. 28. On Wednesday, Judge H. Jay Ford III ended the stay, but delayed the scheduled case management conference until July 12.

The lawsuit, filed in January 2020, also alleges sexual battery, assault, hate violence, drug dealer liability, premises liability and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“Within hours of arriving at Mr. Buck’s West Hollywood residence, Mr. Dean was dead,” the suit states.

Several vials, syringes and containers of narcotics were recovered from throughout Buck’s residence, according to the lawsuit, which cites autopsy report findings.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office concluded on March 25 that Dean’s death was caused by an accidental methamphetamine overdose, according to the plaintiffs’ court papers, which state that Buck has contributed more than $500,000 to the election campaigns and legal defense funds of numerous Los Angeles County and city government officials and candidates since 2008.

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