Prince’s fam­ily sues doc­tor who pre­scribed him pain pills

The Western Star - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

The fam­ily of the late rock star Prince is su­ing a doc­tor who pre­scribed pain pills for him, say­ing the doc­tor failed to treat him for opi­ate ad­dic­tion and there­fore bears re­spon­si­bil­ity for his death two years ago, their at­tor­ney an­nounced Fri­day.

Prince Rogers Nel­son died of an ac­ci­den­tal over­dose of fen­tanyl April 15, 2016. Author­i­ties say Dr. Michael Schu­len­berg ad­mit­ted pre­scrib­ing a dif­fer­ent opi­oid to Prince in the days be­fore he died, oxy­codone, un­der his body­guard’s name to pro­tect the mu­si­cian’s pri­vacy. Schu­len­berg has dis­puted that, al­though he paid $30,000 to set­tle a fed­eral civil vi­o­la­tion al­leg­ing that the drug was pre­scribed il­le­gally.

The law­suit filed in Hen­nepin County District Court this week al­leges that Schu­len­berg and others had “an op­por­tu­nity and duty dur­ing the weeks be­fore Prince’s death to di­ag­nose and treat Prince’s opi­oid ad­dic­tion, and to pre­vent his death. They failed to do so.”

Ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, which was first re­ported by ABC News.com , Prince’s fam­ily seeks un­spec­i­fied dam­ages in ex­cess of $50,000.

An at­tor­ney for Prince’s six sur­viv­ing sib­lings said Fri­day that the new law­suit will even­tu­ally re­place a law­suit they filed in April in Illi­nois to beat a le­gal dead­line. A week be­fore he died, Prince lost con­scious­ness on a flight home from play­ing a con­cert in At­lanta. The plane made an emer­gency stop in Mo­line, Illi­nois, where he was re­vived at Trin­ity Med­i­cal Cen­ter with a drug that re­verses opi­oid over­doses.

“Prince lived in Min­nesota all his life and passed away here, so we al­ways thought his fam­ily’s law­suit be­longed in Min­nesota,” at­tor­ney John Goetz said in a state­ment. He said they now have suf­fi­cient le­gal grounds to pur­sue the law­suit in Prince’s home state.

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