Chris Cornell: Soundgarden singer's family settle case against doctor

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

Published
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionCornell was the lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave

The family of rock singer Chris Cornell have settled their case against a doctor who they claimed overprescribed drugs to the star before his death.

Cornell's widow Vicki had alleged that Dr Robert Koblin "negligently" prescribed "dangerous, mind-altering" substances to him.

She claimed the drugs led to erratic behaviour. Cornell took his own life in a Detroit hotel room in 2017.

A settlement was reached last month, with the terms remaining confidential.

A lawyer for the Cornell family explained that the court documents would remain sealed and redacted to protect the family's safety.

"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]," wrote Melissa Lerner in court documents seen by Rolling Stone.

"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."

media captionChris Cornell spoke to Jools Holland in 2012 about his career in music

Cornell was the lead singer of rock band Soundgarden, who were best known for the 1994 hit Black Hole Sun. He also had a successful solo career and recorded the theme song for the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.

The 52-year-old was found dead in May 2017, several hours after playing a concert with Soundgarden.

Traces of several drugs were found in his body - but a coroner's report said they did not contribute to his death.

The star's family sued Dr Koblin in November 2018, alleging that he had prescribed more than 940 doses of the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam to Cornell between September 2015 and May 2017.

They claimed the drugs "impaired Cornell's cognition, clouded his judgment, and caused him to engage in dangerous impulsive behaviours that he was unable to control, costing him his life".

In court documents responding to the case, Dr Koblin denied any wrongdoing or responsibility for Cornell's death.

Lawyers for the Cornell family and Dr Koblin have not responded to requests for comment on the settlement.

A judge must still approve the parts of the agreement that involve Cornell's children. The documents say the case will proceed to trial if that doesn't happen.

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