Chris Cornell’s Family Sues His Doctor Over Singer’s Suicide

By Bryan Le 11/05/18

Vicky Cornell believes the doctor negligently prescribed her husband mood-altering drugs.

Chris Cornell performs in concert at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida on August 1, 2008.
Cornell was on mood-altering drugs at the time of his death. Michael Bush |

Chris Cornell shocked the rock world when he suddenly took his own life in May last year. Now his wife, Vicky Cornell, and their children are suing the doctor who prescribed Chris a slew of prescription drugs that Vicky believes led him to his death.

People obtained the lawsuit against Dr. Robert Koblin, which accuses him of “negligently and repeatedly [prescribing] mind-altering drugs and controlled substances,” including lorazepam and oxycodone.

Koblin is accused of failing to consider Chris’ history of drug abuse and not properly following up on how the medications he prescribed were affecting Chris, the suit alleges. The drugs “clouded [Cornell’s] judgment and caused him to engage in dangerous, impulsive behaviors that he was unable to control, which cost him his life.”

Chris was found dead at age 52, just hours after finishing a live performance with his band Audioslave. He had long struggled with substance abuse.

“I went from being a daily drug user at 13 to having bad drug experiences and quitting drugs by the time I was 14,” he told Rolling Stone in a 1994 interview.

At the time of his death, the late Soundgarden frontman had seven different drugs in his system, and although none of them were the actual cause of his death, Vicky believes an excess of anxiety drugs drove him to suicide.

“Approximately a year before he died, he was prescribed a benzodiazepine to help him sleep,” she said. “He had torn his shoulder. The pain in the shoulder was waking him up at night and it was keeping him up.”

There was no way he was suicidal, a family source believes. In the two weeks before his death, he delayed travel plans twice in order to avoid inclement weather. He even opted to drive a rental car for seven and a half hours instead of flying.

“Clearly someone who was so hesitant and fearful to fly in these situations valued their life,” the source said. “These are not indications of someone with no regard to their well-being.”

Following his death, Vicky said she found it hard not to blame herself. And, despite her husband being in a rock band, Chris was not another case of a hard rocker’s lifestyle catching up to him.

“My husband was the furthest thing from a rock star junkie. He just wasn't,” she said. “He was the best husband, the greatest father. I lost my soulmate and the love of my life.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter