FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A Georgia judge Friday ruled that Bobbi Kristina Brown's ex-boyfriend is "legally responsible" for her death after the defendant failed to appear in court.
The conservator of Brown's estate filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Nick Gordon in August 2015. The suit accused Gordon of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and transferring money from Brown’s account into his own without authorization.
Brown, the daughter of Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown, died in August 2015 — several months after being found unresponsive in a tub at her Roswell, Ga., townhome.
Gordon was scheduled to appear in Fulton County court Friday but was a no-show.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford said because Gordon has failed to appear twice, anything alleged by the plaintiff is admitted through omission.
A jury will determine the amount of damages to be awarded to Brown’s conservator. The lawsuit sought $50 million in damages.
“In court today, we finally finished a long journey for justice for Bobbi Kristina Brown,” said R. David Ware, lawyer for Brown’s conservator. “The court agrees with us, by striking Mr. Gordon’s answer that he is legally responsible for her death. The only thing left to prove is the value of her life. We intend to do that. Bobbi Brown, the father, represented by Craig Terry, will put on evidence as well. But on behalf of the estate, we're going to demonstrate to the jury, the value of her life. Mr. Gordon will not put on any evidence in contradiction of that.”
No criminal charges have been filed against Gordon.
“It’s not a criminal case but it doesn’t have to be,” the lawyer said. “We want to legally establish he was responsible for her injuries that preceded her death and we’ve done that today.“
Leolah Brown, Bobbi Kristina’s aunt, was pleased by the judge’s decision.
“It’s been a long time,” she said. “They should have been gotten him. He should have been arrested. I’m angry. I’m angry because I want to see some justice. Something has to happen and it has to happen soon."
Autopsy results released in March 2016 indicated multiple drugs were involved in Brown's death, including marijuana, alcohol (ethanol), benzoylecgonine (a cocaine-related substance), benzodiazepines (medications used for sedation or to treat anxiety) and morphine.
Earlier this year, Gordon talked about the death on the Dr. Phil show. After that interview aired, Bobby Brown joined the wrongful death lawsuit against Gordon.
The 22-year-old had been found unconscious, facedown in a bathtub in her home in January 2015, and remained in a coma for seven months. The world was transfixed by the tragic tale, as Brown's end mirrored her mother's haunting death in February 2012, when the singer drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
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