Nick Gordon Found Liable for the Wrongful Death of Bobbi Kristina Brown
By Antoinette Bueno
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Nick Gordon was found liable for the wrongful death of Bobbi Kristina Brown on Friday, after being a no-show at the hearing on the civil lawsuit filed against him by the estate, ET has confirmed.
In August 2015, Brown's conservator, Bedelia Hargrove, filed a $10 million wrongful death civil suit, alleging that Gordon physically abused and stole thousands of dollars from her. In an amendment to that suit, it is alleged that Gordon gave Brown a "toxic cocktail, rendering her unconscious and then put her face down in a tub of cold water causing her to suffer brain damage."
Brown was found face down in a bathtub in her Georgia home on Jan. 31, 2015. After spending nearly six months in a coma, she died in hospice care last July 26 at the age of 22.
"Gordon did not appear. The judge struck his answer and entered default judgment against him," Craig Terrett, the attorney representing Bobbi Kristina's father, Bobby Brown, told ET on Friday. "The only issue now is damages, which will likely be tried before a jury, possibly in November."
When asked if counsel appeared on behalf of Gordon on Friday, Terrett said, "No one appeared on behalf of Mr. Gordon. He is currently unrepresented as far as we know."
Hargrove's attorney, David Ware, spoke out about the judgment in a statement to ET.
"In August 2015, Bedelia C Hargrove, Administrator of the Estate of Bobbi Kristina Brown, began the arduous, but necessary, process of establishing that Nicholas Gordon was legally responsible for Bobbi Kristina’s injuries and death," the statement reads. "Today, the court agreed with her in her pursuit of justice for Bobbi Kristina. We look forward to having a Fulton County jury determine how much Mr. Gordon will have to pay. Once that is established, Ms. Hargrove will approach collection of the judgment with concomitant zeal and fervor."
No criminal charges have been filed against Gordon. In response to the judgment, Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. issued a statement to ET.
"As we have stated on numerous occasions and we will repeat again today, this case remains under active investigation by our Office," Howard said. "Our investigation will encompass all relevant facts and circumstances, including the body and content of the civil action holding Nick Gordon civilly responsible for the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown."
Bobbi Kristina's aunt, Leolah Brown, also spoke outside of the court room in Fulton County, Georgia, on Friday. "It's been a long time. Bobbi Kristina has been dead for how long?" she told Atlanta's NBC affiliate WXIA-TV. "It's been a long time, hasn't it? ... He should have been arrested. I'm angry because I want to see some justice."
Gordon's lawyers released a statement last August regarding the lawsuit filed against their client, claiming it is both "slanderous and meritless."
"Nick has been heartbroken and destroyed over the loss of his love and it's shameful that such baseless allegations have been presented publicly," the statement reads. "Nick has engaged civil counsel and intends to defend the lawsuit vigorously and expose it for what it is: a fictitious assault against the person who loved Krissy most."
The Fulton County, Georgia, medical examiner listed Brown's official cause of death as pneumonia in March. Brown died from complications caused by her face being immersed in water, along with drug intoxication, the medical examiner said in a statement.
"The underlying cause of death is the condition which starts the downhill course of events leading to death and in this case is the immersion associated with drug intoxication," the statement read. "The pneumonia and encephalopathy [brain damage] are more immediate causes which resulted from the immersion and drug intoxication."
The toxicology report found marijuana, alcohol, "a cocaine-related substance," anti-anxiety medication, and morphine in her system.