Chris Cornell's Family Files Malpractice Lawsuit Against Late Singer's Doctor
By Liz Calvario
Chris Cornell's family has filed a lawsuit against Dr. Robert Koblin and his practice alleging negligence, failure to obtain informed consent and willful misconduct, according to documents obtained by ET on Thursday.
The Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman died at the age of 52 on May 18, 2017. The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was ruled suicide by hanging, though, at the time his wife, Vicky Cornell, called the ruling into question.
Now, the singer's family is suing his former treating physician, Dr. Koblin, along with his office, "for negligently and repeatedly prescribing dangerous mind-altering controlled substances to Cornell which impaired Mr. Cornell’s cognition, clouded his judgment and caused him to engage in dangerous impulsive behaviors that he was unable to control, costing him his life," per the documents.
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Cornell's family claims that the prescription drugs led to his erratic behavior prior to his death. The lawsuit alleges that during at least the last 20 months leading up to his passing, Dr. Koblin and/or his office "negligently prescribed more than 940 doses of Lorazepam to Cornell. During that same time period, he also prescribed various doses of Oxycodone. Yet, 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."
Cornell's toxicology, however, did show the presence of Ativan, a form of Lorazepam. A number of different drugs were found in his system, according to medical reports, but the substances were not seen as a factor in his death.
The family disagrees, with the lawsuit also claiming that prescribing Lorazepam to addiction-prone individuals like Cornell for prolonged time periods, and without careful monitoring, is perilous and can drastically impair a person's behavior and thoughts.
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The lawsuit alleges that the doctor knew that Cornell had a history with substance abuse. However, Cornell’s family alleges that Dr. Koblin allowed his staff to write the prescriptions while unsupervised. “Permitted such staff members to renew or write these prescriptions without obtaining Dr. Koblin’s advance review of Chris Cornell’s medical records, an assessment of his clinical status and indications of continued use,” the documents state.
"He wanted to be there for his family, for his children. He loved his life," she said. “I don't think that he could make any decisions because of the level of impairment."
Vicky and Cornell wed in 2004 and have two children together, 14-year-old daughter, Toni and 12-year-old son, Christopher. Cornell was also father to 18-year-old daughter, Lillian, from his first marriage to Susan Silver.