Chris Cornell’s Family Settles Lawsuit with Doctor Who Prescribed “Mind-Altering” Drugs

The suit was first brought in 2018 by his widow Vicky

chris cornell family lawsuit doctor setles settlement
Chris Cornell

    Chris Cornell’s family has settled a lawsuit with Dr. Robert Koblin, the man who allegedly prescribed the singer anti-anxiety drugs and opioids in the months before his suicide.

    As plaintiffs in the 2018 lawsuit, Cornell’s widow Vicky and their children Toni and Christopher accused the doctor of “negligently and repeatedly” supplying the Soundgarden frontman with “dangerous mind-altering controlled substances,” especially Lorazepam (aka Ativan), but also at least some Oxycodone. The suit claims that this “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 terms of the settlement have been sealed at the plaintiffs’ request. Court documents examined by Rolling Stone gave the reason that, “Over the past several years, online trolls and other unstable individuals have harassed Plaintiffs, including by threatening the life and safety of [the Cornells’ children]. As recently as the past few weeks, Plaintiffs have received death threats online. Furthermore, the increased attention to this case has led to other invasions of Plaintiffs’ privacy.”

    We do know that the lawsuit focused on the period between September of 2015 and Cornell’s death in May of 2017. During that time, Koblin is alleged to have prescribed Cornell with more than 940 doses of the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam, aka Ativan.

    It’s hard to judge the number of doses without knowing the milligram dosage, but the autopsy report did make a point to note that, “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.” Still, although Cornell had seven different drugs in his system at the time of the suicide, the autopsy ultimately ruled that “drugs did not contribute to the cause of death.”

    While this case is behind her, Vicky Cornell’s time in court hasn’t come to an end. Earlier this year she sued Soundgarden over the buyout price for her husband’s share of the band. This follows an unrelated countersuit that Soundgarden filed against Vicky last year that concerned unreleased recordings and the band’s social media accounts. They also accused Vicky of using money raised at a charity concert for “personal purposes.”