Actress Carrie Fisher has failed to escape a complex legal case over the fatal heroin overdose of a 21-year-old woman, who lived in her guest house two months before her death.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laura A. Matz has denied Fisher’s appeal to be removed from a wrongful death lawsuit, which centres on the 2010 death of Amy Breliant, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the popular “Star Wars” franchise.

The judge’s ruling means that Fisher will remain a defendant in the case alongside a physician, Stephen Marmer M.D., and Warren Boyd, who was overseeing the rehab network that Breliant was under the care of when she died.

“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 venturer,” read Matz’s order.

According to the original complaint, filed in 2013 by Breliant’s family, Fisher allowed the guest house on her Los Angeles property to be used by Boyd, who maintained a network of sober-living homes.

Breliant had been assigned in June 2010 to stay at Fisher’s home for “rehabilitation” purposes. In return for offering her home, Fisher was paid “a share of Boyd’s profit or revenue, equal to cash payments of $10,000, weekly”, read the complaint.

Those payments to Fisher, the original filing claims, are evidence that Fisher effectively was in a joint venture with Boyd, as per hollywoodreporter.com.

The family’s court papers “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,” Matz wrote in the court order.

Fisher’s attorney, Vicki Greco, declined to comment on the ruling.

In a statement, Fisher said: “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. Unfortunately, I am not able to talk about the details of this case because it is ongoing.”

The trial in the case is expected to start in May next year.

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