Chris Cornell’s Widow Sues Her Husband’s Doctor for Malpractice
Vicky Cornell, the widow of Chris Cornell, has filed a lawsuit against Dr. Robert Kolbin, alleging that his prescriptions affected his state of mind that resulted in the Soundgarden singer taking his own life in May 2017. The charges include negligence, failure to obtain informed consent and willful misconduct.
The news comes via Rolling Stone, who obtained a copy of the filing. According to Cornell, Kolbin "negligently and repeatedly” prescribed “dangerous mind-altering controlled substances… which impaired [his] cognition, clouded his judgement and caused him to engage in dangerous impulsive behaviors that he was unable to control, costing him his life.”
This includes more than 940 doses of Ativan beginning in September 2015 as well as Oxycodone, which she says was prescribed without a medical examination or additional studies. In addition, she says that Chris was never informed of the possible side effects of Ativan, which include impaired judgement, diminished impulse control and increased risk of suicide in addiction-prone individuals. Chris Cornell had a history of substance abuse and was referred to Kolbin through his therapist for substance abuse.
She also believes members of Kolbin's non-physician staff wrote prescriptions for her husband. The Robertson Cardiovascular Center is named as a co-defendant in the suit.
Chris Cornell hanged himself in his hotel room following a Soundgarden concert in Detroit. A few days later, Vicky was suggesting that prescription drugs had affected his mind, based on their telephone conversations that day.
"When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do," she said. "When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different," she continued. "When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. ... What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."
Two weeks later, the toxicology report revealed that he had the equivalent of four Ativan pills, as well as barbiturates in his system at the time of his death.