Prince Heirs File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Hospital

Six heirs to superstar Prince's fortune filed a lawsuit against Walgreens and an Illinois hospital, according to a report from Reuters. The hospital mentioned in the suit is Trinity Medical Center in Moline, the hospital where Prince was treated a week before his death from an overdose of fentanyl. Specifically mentioned in the suit is the emergency room physician, Dr. Nicole Mancha. Also accused is the hospital pharmacist and Walgreens.

A week before his untimely death at the age of 57, Prince passed out on his private jet while returning home from a concert in Atlanta. An emergency landing was made and the musician was taken to Trinity Medical Center. Medical staff administered two doses of Narcan to revive him. Once conscious, Prince refused medical tests and was asked what drugs he took. Fox News reports that he provided a pill that he said was Vicodin. That pill was sent to a pharmacist who said it appeared to be Vicodin, but prosecutors are stating that chemical testing was not performed on the pill. They are charging that they believe the pill was laced with fentanyl, the drug that killed Prince. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more powerful than heroin. Authorities have stated that they don't believe that Prince or anyone around him knew that he was consuming anything other than Vicodin, and they have been unable to identify who provided the deadly drug to the performer. Dr. Mancha is charged with a failure to diagnose and treat Prince's overdose in a timely manner and a failure to provide counseling. It specifically states that his death was caused by "deviations from the standards of care."

The charges against Walgreens are based on statements from authorities that Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg admitted filling Oxycodone prescriptions that were written for Prince's bodyguard Kirk Johnson and dispensing them to Prince. Schulenberg has denied the charges and paid $30,000 to settle a case against him.

Prince died on April 21, 2016. He was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his famed Paisley Park home. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was an accidental fentanyl overdose. NBC News reported that attorneys for Prince's family, George Loucas and John Goetz, made a short statement that included this.

"Prince's family wishes, through its investigation, to shed additional light on what happened to Prince. At the same further light on the opiate epidemic will hopefully help the fight to save lives. If Prince's death helps save lives, then all was not lost."
Following the musician's death, longtime friend Sheila E. said that Prince took opioid painkillers to treat years of hip and knee pain caused by decades of demanding performances in heels.