Prince’s family sues doctor who prescribed him pain pills
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.