Chris Cornell former Rockstar frontman for Soundgarden, passed away last May 2017 in Detroit; he was 52. Death was ruled a suicide by hanging determined by the coroner. Today the family of Cornell is suing his doctor for overprescribing his medications prior to his suicide.
During the autopsy report, the toxicology results including Ativan along with barbiturates, caffeine, the anti-opioid drug naloxone, and a decongestant were in his body but not present at the time of death.
The Lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court includes Cornell’s children Toni and Christopher and widow Vicky Cornell as plaintiffs arguing that prescription drugs, especially the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam (better known as Ativan), caused Cornell to have erratic behaviors prior to his death.
According to USA Today, the lawsuit states Dr. Robert Koblin and his Beverly Hills office “negligently and repeatedly” prescribed “dangerous mind-altering controlled substances to Chris 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.”
The main focus of the lawsuits highlights that in the 20 months that led up to his death Koblin prescribed Cornell copious amounts of Lorazepam. Cornell’s doctor knew Chris had a serious history of substance abuse, and he failed to examine or consult with him as he was prescribing the drugs which are also a main topic in the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, “unmonitored use of such excessive amounts of Lorazepam … was known to increase the risk of suicide because it can severely impair judgment, thinking and impulse control and diminish the ability of a patient to think and act rationally.”
The months leading up to his suicide Vicky Cornell shared how since after her husband’s death she saw and felt the prescription drugs he was taking drove him to act strange, but never showed any signs of that he might take his own life. With that being shared the lawsuits says, “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 Rockstar’s unique voice and presence on stage captivated the hearts of the 90s, solely claiming the stage as a legend. Soundgarden was one of the seminal creators of grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle, and was one of a number of grunge bands signed to the record label Sub Pop. Among other super-groups Cornell also Fronted Audioslave with members of Rage Against The Machine and Temple of the Dog with members of Pearl Jam.
September 2018 a bronze statue of Cornell created by artist Nick Marra, which shows the singer in one of his signatures poses with his signature boots, dog tag, and long hair, was revealed outside the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.
The lawsuit’s outcome is yet to be determined but also names anonymous staffers at Koblin’s office as defendants. Toni, Cornell’s oldest daughter, has also been named a defendant, but because she is heir to her father’s estate the lawsuit emphasizes that she is a nominal defendant only as required by law.
By: Mckenzie Santa Maria