Carrie Fisher May Stand Trial In Heroin-Related Wrongful Death Suit

By Keri Blakinger 11/01/16

Fisher's request to be taken off the lawsuit was denied by a judge last week. 

Carrie Fisher May Stand Trial In Heroin-Related Wrongful Death Suit

Star Wars icon Carrie Fisher could be headed for trial in a heroin-related wrongful death suit filed in Los Angeles. 

Last week, a judge denied Fisher’s request to be removed from the legal action stemming from the 2010 death of Amy Breliant, who overdosed two months after living in Fisher’s guest house.

Fisher is just one of a few people named in the suit, including Warren Boyd, who runs an intervention service and rehab network and once co-executive produced the A&E TV series The Cleaner, according to Variety

At the time of her death, Breliant was one of Boyd’s clients. According to the original complaint from 2013, Fisher had an arrangement with Boyd that allowed him to use the guest house in his network of sober living residences. 

Fisher allegedly netted $10,000 a week from the arrangement, which the suit claims is proof that Fisher and Boyd were enmeshed in a joint venture. 

But at the time of her death, Breliant was actually living at another of Boyd’s sober living homes. Even so, the judge declined to let Fisher out of the case. 

“Fisher has failed to meet her burden to establish that she cannot be found responsible, as a matter of law, for the conduct of Boyd, a joint venture,” wrote Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laura Matz in a court order.

Documents provided by Breliant's family “would support a reasonable inference that defendant engaged in contact with respect to taking or obtaining funds or assisting in taking or obtaining funds from the dependent adult with intent to defraud,” according to the court order. 

“We are pleased with the Court’s decision ordering Carrie Fisher to stand trial, and we look forward to our day in court and obtaining justice for Amy Breliant,” Breliant's family attorney said in a statement. 

“As explained in our court documents, Warren Boyd used Carrie Fisher’s celebrity status to lend credibility to advance his corrupt drug rehabilitation program. We believe the evidence will show this was nothing short of his greed-driven fraud scheme designed to make money and keep clients hooked on deadly drugs, resulting in Amy’s tragic death.”

Fisher offered a sympathetic statement in response to Breliant’s death but declined to comment specifically on the case. “I feel great compassion for any parent’s loss of their child in an untimely death. I have a daughter. To lose a child is an unimaginable tragedy and the grief must be devastating,” she said. 

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.