A songwriter's son charged with killing his swimsuit designer girlfriend in a New York hotel bathtub has been found liable under civil law for her death.

Nicholas Brooks failed to respond to a wrongful-death lawsuit against him and a court order Friday granted a default judgment. Damages are to be determined.

Brooks has pleaded not guilty to murder in Sylvie Cachay's (kash-AYZ') 2010 death. The civil lawsuit judgment doesn't affect that ongoing criminal case. But Cachay family lawyer Susan Karten said it "will follow him for the rest of his life."

Brooks' criminal defense lawyer didn't respond to a message.

Authorities say Cachay was drowned. Brooks says he left her woozy from medication and sleeping.

Brooks' father is "You Light Up My Life" writer Joseph Brooks.