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Family of the late Chris Cornell sues doctor for allegedly overprescribing drugs to him before his suicide

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Nearly 18 months after the death of rocker Chris Cornell, his family has filed a lawsuit accusing his doctor of overprescribing drugs to him that, ultimately, led to his death.

The Soundgarden singer’s death on May 18, 2017, hours after a performance, was officially ruled a suicide by hanging. Although toxicology tests showed that the anti-opioid drug naloxone, barbiturates, a decongestant, and caffeine were in his body when he died, the coroner noted in his June 2017 autopsy report that “these drugs did not contribute to the cause of death.”

Vicky Cornell said in a statement when the report was released that she and others close to Cornell “noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off.”

Chris Cornell and wife Vicky Cornell pictured at the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas on Nov. 13, 2014, in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Chris Cornell and wife Vicky Cornell pictured at the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas on Nov. 13, 2014, in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

In the new lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Vicky and the two children she shared with Chris, 14-year-old daughter Toni and son Christopher Cornell, 12, alleged that the prescription drugs he was taking caused strange behavior just before his death, according to the Associated Press. They charge Beverly Hills cardiologist Robert Koblin and his office with wrongly prescribing “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 lawsuit charges Koblin and others in his office with overlooking Cornell’s history of substance abuse and failing to consult with the musician on what he was prescribing. The filing reportedly calls out the doctor for directing Cornell to take a large amount of Lorazepam, a generic for Ativan, over the 20 months before his death.

It says the “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.”

Cornell’s family members are seeking an as-yet-undetermined amount in damages.

A lawyer for Koblin has not yet responded to Yahoo’s request for comment.

Since Cornell’s death, his wife has unveiled the Addiction Resource Center, an online resource for individuals and families struggling with addiction, and the Addiction Resource Line, a hotline that connects people in need with clinicians and peer recovery support advocates.

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