LOS ANGELES (AP) – The family of Chris Cornell and a doctor who is said to have prescribed medication before his death have agreed to settle the case.
Court documents filed by lawyers for the widow of rock singer Vicki Cornell and their children Tony and Christopher Nicholas Cornell say a confidential agreement has been reached. The documents were filed in April, but went unnoticed before City News reported on Thursday.
The Cornell family claims in a 2018 lawsuit in the Los Angeles High Court that drugs, especially the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam prescribed by Dr. Robert Koblin, led to the inconsistent behavior of the Soundgarden frontman before his death in Detroit in 201
Michigan coroner investigators ruled Cornell’s death by hanging. The tests showed the presence of lorazepam, better known by its brand name Ativan, in Cornell’s system along with barbiturates and the antioxidant drug naloxone, but did not cite them as a factor in his death.
The lawsuit alleges that Koblin and his Beverly Hills, California office “carelessly and repeatedly” prescribed Chris Cornell “dangerous, mind-altering substances that disrupt Mr. Cornell’s knowledge, obscure his judgment, and force him to participate in dangerous impulsive behavior he was unable to control, which cost him his life. “
The case file says the doctor did so knowing that Cornell had a serious history of substance abuse.
In court documents corresponding to the lawsuit, Koblin and his lawyer deny any wrongdoing or responsibility for Cornell’s death.
Emails seeking comment sent to lawyers on both sides on Thursday night were not returned immediately.
“After years of litigation and negotiation, the plaintiffs and defendants … reached a confidential settlement agreement to resolve all claims,” Cornell’s lawyers said in a lawsuit on April 2.
The document says the agreement to minimize publicity and keep the terms confidential is essential to the compromise.
The case “received significant media coverage and attention from Mr Cornell’s fans and the plaintiffs’ allies,” the court said in a statement. “Unfortunately, as in many cases of celebrities, this action also attracted the attention of distressed individuals who harassed plaintiffs, including by threatening the lives and safety of plaintiffs Tony Cornell and Christopher Nicholas Cornell.”
The judge has yet to approve the parts of the settlement that include children who are also minors, and documents say the trial will continue to a trial if that doesn’t happen.
Cornell’s weeping voice and long-haired, shirtless stage presence made him a major figure in grunge rock in the ’90s. Soundgarden was among the first bands to focus on national attention in a wave that later included Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
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