A judge reiterated Wednesday that she is inclined to allow the husband and mother of Jim Carrey’s former girlfriend to move forward with their lawsuits alleging the actor gave her prescription drugs that she used to commit suicide.
However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Deirdre Hill once again did not issue a final ruling, saying she wanted to study the issues further.
In addition to wrongful death, the lawsuits that Mark Burton and Brigid Sweetman filed against Carrey allege violation of the Drug Dealer Liability Act in connection with the death of Cathriona White.
The 30-year-old Irish citizen was found dead at her rented Sherman Oaks home in September 2015. Carrey and White, a hair and makeup artist, had dated off and on since 2012 while she was married to — but estranged from — Burton.
Hill first heard arguments on defense motions to dismiss the lawsuits on March 29 and issued a tentative ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, but said she wanted to mull the issues further. After Wednesday’s additional arguments, she remained undecided and did not say when she would rule.
Attorney Raymond Boucher, on behalf of Carrey, told Hill that the lawsuit does not state which provision of the Drug Dealer Liability Act the plaintiffs are relying on in their lawsuits. One section of the act calls for there to be a conviction, something that has not happened in Carrey’s case, Boucher said.
Boucher also argued the plaintiffs’ court papers are vague regarding the wrongful death claim because they do not state whether they believe White died from negligence or from an intentional act.
“I need clarity and that’s fair,” Boucher said.
Boucher said the wrongful death allegation is further flawed because White, who was estranged from Burton, carefully planned her death and did not kill herself as a result of an “irresistible impulse.”
He stated in his court papers that White’s suicide was “an independent intervening force” that cuts off any liability Carrey could have.
Lawyer Ahmed Ibrahim, on behalf of the plaintiffs, said the case is not typical of one involving the Drug Dealer Liability Act.
“Clearly, we’re not alleging Jim Carrey was selling drugs out of the back of his pickup,” Ibrahim said.
But he said the court papers are sufficiently clear for now and that the defense can raise the same issues later if they so choose during a future motion.
“In our view, enough is enough,” he said.
Burton’s lawsuit was filed Sept. 19 and Sweetman’s on Oct. 11. Both complaints allege the painkillers Ambien, Propranolol and Percocet were contained in prescription bottles that were found near White’s body, all of which were acquired by Carrey using the phony name Arthur King.
Carrey, now 55, used surveillance cameras at the home to keep track of White, according to her husband’s court papers. But although the actor’s assistant knew that the footage showed White last entered the home on Sept. 24, and had not left for more than a day, neither Carrey nor the assistant called police, according to Burton’s complaint.
After White’s death, Carrey engaged in a “charade” by offering to pay her funeral expenses so as to portray himself as a “grieving good guy” as opposed to “the individual who had illegally obtained and provided the drugs that killed White,” but “never paid a dime of funeral expenses,” the Burton suit alleges.
–City News Service
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