LOS ANGELES (AP) – Chris Cornell’s family and a doctor they alleged prescribed medication before he died have agreed to settle a lawsuit.
Court documents filed by attorneys for the rock singer’s widow, Vicky Cornell, and her children, Toni and Christopher Nicholas Cornell, stated that a confidential settlement had been reached. The documents were filed in April but went unnoticed before the City News Service reported on Thursday.
The Cornell family alleged in their 2018 lawsuit filed with the Los Angeles Supreme Court that drugs, particularly that of Dr. Robert Koblin prescribed the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam, which would have caused erratic behavior from the Soundgarden frontman prior to his death in Detroit in 2017 at age 52.
Coroner’s Michigan investigators ruled that Cornell’s death by hanging was suicide. Tests showed the presence of lorazepam, better known under the brand name Ativan, in Cornell’s system along with barbiturates and the anti-opioid drug naloxone, but did not name them as a factor in his death.
The lawsuit alleged that Koblin and his Beverly Hills, California office had “negligently and repeatedly” prescribed “dangerous mind-altering controlled substances” to Chris Cornell that impaired Mr. Cornell’s cognition, impaired judgment, and induced him to do so to engage in dangerous impulsive behaviors that he could not control and cost him his life. “
The lawsuit said the doctor did so because he knew Cornell had a serious history of substance abuse.
In court documents responding to the lawsuit, Koblin and his attorney denied any wrongdoing or responsibility for Cornell’s death.
Emails with comments sent to lawyers on both sides Thursday night were not immediately returned.
“After years of litigation and settlement negotiations, the plaintiffs and defendants … entered into a confidential settlement agreement to resolve all claims,” the Cornell family lawyers said on the April 2 file.
The key document for the compromise was the agreement to minimize publicity and keep the terms confidential.
The case has received “significant media coverage and attention from fans of Mr. Cornell and allies of the plaintiffs,” the court record said. “Unfortunately, as in many celebrity cases, this action has drawn the attention of those who have molested plaintiffs, including threats to the life and safety of plaintiffs Toni Cornell and Christopher Nicholas Cornell.”
A judge has yet to approve the parts of the settlement that involve the children, who are both minors, and the documents state that if it doesn’t, the lawsuit will go to court.
Cornell’s plaintive voice and his long-haired, shirtless stage presence made him an indispensable figure in grunge rock of the 1990s. Soundgarden was among the first groups to gain national attention in a wave that later became Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
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