Chris Cornell’s family settles malpractice lawsuit with former doctor

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs on stage at the Soundwave Festival at Melbourne showgrounds on Sunday the 22nd of February 2015 in Melbourne, Australia
(Image credit: Martin Philbey/Redferns)

Chris Cornell’s family has reached a confidential settlement with the doctor who cared for the singer and guitarist at the time of his death.

Cornell died on May 18, 2017, and his death was ruled a suicide. Shortly after, his family issued a statement that questioned a coroner’s report that he took his own life.

“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris – or if any substances contributed to his demise,” the statement read.

In 2018, Cornell’s widow, Vicky Cornell, and her two children, Toni and Christopher Nicholas, sued Dr. Robert Koblin for malpractice, stating that the multiple medications he had been prescribed had impaired the singer’s cognition. Now, the suit has been settled.

A report in Rolling Stone outlines the original suit, which alleged that Koblin prescribed Cornell over 940 doses of the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam between September 2015 and May 2017.

Additionally, Rolling Stone states that the suit claimed that Koblin also prescribed Oxycodone but didn’t conduct appropriate follow-up, and that the doctor didn’t warn Cornell, “an addiction-prone individual”, about possible side effects of Lorazepam which include impairment of judgement and rational thinking, diminished impulse control and increased risk of suicide.

Terms of the settlement, which was reached last month, remain confidential.

At the same time, Vicky Cornell has been engaged in an ongoing legal battle with the surviving members of Soundgarden, with the band members recently accusing Cornell of locking them out of the official Soundgarden social media accounts and website.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.