Chris Cornell’s wife, Vicky Cornell, is suing Chris’ doctor for malpractice and feels his death could have been prevented, TMZ is reporting. Chris and Vicky’s eldest daughter, Toni, is also technically on the lawsuit as a defendant, but the lawsuit notes that Toni is only a nominal defendant due to the law requiring this, because she is heir to her father’s estate. Chris, who is best known for his band Soundgarden, committed suicide on May 18, 2017. The coroner found Lorazepam, barbiturates, caffeine, the anti-opioid drug naloxone, and a decongestant in his system. It’s the Lorazepam, however, that Vicky believes contributed to his fragile mental state, and is suing Chris’ doctor, Robert Koblin, for unspecified damages.
The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Koblin knew Chris was an “addiction-prone individual” and didn’t take the necessary steps to ensure his safety. Dr. Koblin reportedly prescribed Chris the Lorazepam, which is a sedative usually given to people who struggle with anxiety. Vicky alleged that the drug impairs judgment and rational thinking as well as diminishes impulse control. It was these side effects, she says, that led to Chris taking his own life seemingly out of the blue.
Chris’ family has been struggling with the timing of his death, as he seemed fine when Vicky and others spoke to him a mere few hours before his death. According to NBC News, the lawsuit notes that “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.”
The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Koblin did not do his due diligence and inform Chris about the risks that come with taking Lorazepam. The suit also claims that Dr. Koblin had non-physician staff write hundreds of Lorazepam prescriptions, “without showing any medical necessity or providing any monitoring.” Dr. Koblin has yet to respond to requests for comment from the media.
Chris’ death shocked the nation as he was a significant groundbreaking musician in the ’90s grunge movement. In addition to the band Soundgarden, Chris played in super-groups such as Audioslave, a band formed with members of Rage Against the Machine, and Temple of the Dog, a band formed with members of Pearl Jam. Chris made quite a mark in the music industry and was revered by other musicians. In October, a bronze statue of Chris was placed outside the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.