Family of singer Chris Cornell sues doctor over suicide

Musician Chris Cornell (left) and wife Vicky Karayiannis at the Golden Globe Awards. — AFP pic
Musician Chris Cornell (left) and wife Vicky Karayiannis at the Golden Globe Awards. — AFP pic

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LOS ANGELES, Nov 2 — The family of Chris Cornell is suing a Beverly Hills doctor, alleging he over-prescribed drugs to the grunge rock singer, leading to his suicide last year.

The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court claims that Dr Robert Koblin “negligently and repeatedly” prescribed mind-altering controlled substances — notably 940 doses of the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam, also known as Ativan — to the singer beginning in 2015 and until his death in May 2017.

The suit, filed on behalf of Cornell’s widow, Vicky Karayiannis Cornell, and their two children, says that Koblin during that period kept prescribing drugs to the singer without actually examining him.

“At no time during this period did Dr Koblin conduct a medical examination of Mr Cornell, perform any laboratory studies, obtain an interim history or do any type of clinical assessment of Mr Cornell,” according to the suit.

“He did not even physically see or speak to Mr Cornell during this period.”

The suits claims the drugs “impaired Mr Cornell’s cognition, clouded his judgment and caused him to engage in dangerous and impulsive behaviors that he was unable to control, costing him his life.”

“At the time of his death, Mr Cornell had everything to live for and was planning a future of recordings, performances and continued work as a charitable activist,” according to the lawsuit.

Koblin could not be reached for comment.

Cornell, who had a lifelong struggle with drugs and depression, was found dead on May 18, 2017 at his hotel in Detroit after performing with his main band, Soundgarden.

He was 52.

His death was ruled a suicide by hanging.

The coroner’s office said although prescription drugs were found in his system, they did not cause his death.

But the singer’s window has maintained that the prescription drugs her husband took had made him behave strangely and there was no indication he might take his own life.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges negligence, wilful misconduct and failure to obtain informed consent. — AFP

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