FULTON COUNTY, Ga. – A Fulton County judge ruled Nick Gordon is “legally responsible” for Bobbi Kristina Brown’s death after the defendant failed to appear in court on Friday.
The conservator of Brown's estate filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against 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 townhome. Gordon was her longtime partner.
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,” R. David Ware, a lawyer for Brown’s conservator, said outside of court. “The court agreed with us, by striking Mr. Gordon’s answer that he is legally responsible for her death. The only thing left for us to prove is the value of her life. We intend to do that."
No criminal charges have been filed against Gordon.
“It’s not a criminal case but it doesn’t have to be,” Ware said. “We want to legally establish he was responsible for her injuries that proceeded her death and we’ve done that today. “
Leolah Brown Muhammad, 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 Dr. Phil show. After that interview aired, Bobby Brown joined the wrongful death lawsuit against Gordon. Brown is represented in the civil case by Atlanta attorney Craig Terrett.
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