Chris Cornell's family has settled its lawsuit with a doctor who they claim overprescribed medication that could lead to suicidal tendencies in the years leading up to the singer's death in 2017.
The lawsuit, listing Cornell’s widow Vicky and their children Toni and Christopher Nicholas as plaintiffs, was filed in 2018 against Robert Koblin M.D. Last month an agreement was reached, according to court documents obtained by Rolling Stone. Terms of the settlement remain confidential.
In the sealed documents, Cornell family lawyer Melissa Lerner stated that a "confidential settlement agreement" was reached to "resolve all claims asserted by each Plaintiff." She also argued that the settlement and corresponding documents be sealed because the family had been receiving death threats and wanted to protect their privacy.
"Over the past several years, online trolls and other unstable individuals have harassed Plaintiffs, including by threatening the life and safety of [the Cornells’ children]," she stated. "As recently as the past few weeks, Plaintiffs have received death threats online. Furthermore, the increased attention to this case has led to other invasions of Plaintiffs’ privacy."
In the lawsuit, Cornell's family claimed that Koblin prescribed Cornell more than 940 doses of Lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication also known as Ativan, over the course of two years — between September 2015 and Cornell's suicide in May 2017 — but did not conduct any follow-up medical examinations or perform clinical assessments or studies. He also reportedly failed to inform Cornell that the medication, which is known to be highly addictive, could have adverse side effects that include impaired rational thinking and judgment as well as an increased risk of suicide.
Koblin was sued for negligence, failure to obtain informed consent, and willful misconduct.
Traces of several different drugs were found in Cornell's system in an autopsy report, but it was ruled that "drugs did not contribute to the cause of death." Vicky had long disputed this. In a statement released shortly after Cornell's death, the family's lawyer, Kirk Pasich, claimed the late singer's decision-making had been impacted by the prescribed medication.
"The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions," the statement read, according to The Washington Post.
Vicky previously said that Cornell told her he "may have taken an extra Ativan or two," and that she asked security to check on him after talking to him on the phone and hearing him slur his words, Rolling Stone reported in 2017.
Cornell, 52, co-founded Soundgarden, one of the top-selling bands in the Seattle grunge rock revolution of the 1990s. He also found success as a solo artist and with the band Audioslave.
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