The family of Prince have filed a lawsuit against his former doctor for wrongful death.
Obtained by ABC News and also reported in Pitchfork, the suit alleges that Dr Michael T. Schulenberg – the doctor who treated Prince twice shortly before his death – “failed to appropriately evaluate, diagnose, treat and counsel Prince for his recognisable opioid addiction.”
It claims that he also “failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the foreseeable fatal final result of that addiction.” Prince’s family are seeking $50,000 in damages.
The lawsuit, which was reportedly filed in Minnesota on Friday morning (August 24) added: “These departures from the standard of acceptable medical practice had a substantial part in bringing about Prince’s death.”
Prince died at the age of 57, when he was found alone and unresponsive in his Paisley Park estate on April 21 in 2016. Shortly after his death, it was confirmed that he died from an opioid overdose. The star was found to have fentanyl in his system – which is 50 times more powerful than heroin.
According to Pitchfork, the suit also names his doctor’s former employer, North Memorial Health, Walgreens Co. and UnityPoint Health as defendants and alleges their “negligence in providing inadequate [sic] professional health services to Price” played “a substantial part in causing his death.”
UnityPoint Health is the owner of the Trinity Medical Centre where Prince was hospitalised on August 15 2016 following an overdose. The singer’s plane had to make an emergency landing when the late singer fell ill on board.
It was announced previously that the family would be bringing proceedings against Trinity Medical Centre. Lawyers George Loucas and John Goetz, representing Prince’s family, said in a statement back in April: “What happened to Prince is happening to families across America.”
“The family wishes through its investigation to shed light on this epidemic and how to better the fight to save lives. If Prince’s death helps save lives, then all was not lost.”
Earlier this year, prosecutors stated that no-one would face criminal charges over his death.
Carver County attorney Mark Metz said the musician had suffered the overdose due to taking counterfeit pills, which contained the painkiller. “Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him,” Metz said. However, no evidence showing how the star got hold of the pills has been found, meaning no criminal charges will be filed in the case, as CNN reported.
In a statement to ABC News, Paul Peterson, Dr. Schulenberg’s lawyer, said the suit is without merit. He said: “We understand this situation has been difficult on everyone close to Mr. Nelson [Prince] and his fans across the globe…be that as it may, Dr. Schulenberg stands by the care that Mr. Nelson received. We intend to defend this case.”