Prince’s Family Sues Hospital That Treated First Overdose

By Kelly Burch 04/26/18

The family believes that if Prince knew the pills he overdosed on a week prior to his death contained fentanyl, he would not have taken them again.


Six days before Prince fatally overdosed in his home in 2016, his plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois because the singer was barely breathing.

Prince received two doses of Narcan and was revived at a local hospital, only to fatally overdose at home the following week.

Now, the singer’s family is suing that hospital for failing to properly diagnose the opioid overdose.

According to The New York Times, Prince’s death was a “direct and proximate cause” of the hospital failing to give him proper care and counseling after the first overdose.

Prince’s death had been under investigation for two years since it happened. It appears likely that the singer believed he was taking Vicodin pills, but was in fact taking counterfeit drugs that contained fentanyl.

Last week, authorities announced that they would not be pressing criminal charges in the case. 

However, Prince’s family believes that if he had known that the pills he took on the plane may have contained fentanyl, he would not have taken them again a week later. 

“What happened to Prince is happening to families across America,” George Loucas and John Goetz, lawyers for the family, said in a statement on Monday. “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.”

The wrongful death lawsuit names Trinity Medical Center, its parent companies, a pharmacy employee and a doctor, Nicole F. Mancha, who provided the care after the emergency landing in Illinois.

Mancha has already spoken with investigators about the death. She said that when Prince was brought to the hospital he told her he had taken two Percocet, but she didn’t believe him because his condition indicated he had taken more powerful opioids.

She said the pills had resembled Vicodin, and she sent one to the lab to be sure. The pharmacist there confirmed that it appeared to be hydrocodone (Vicodin contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen), but did not test it.

At the same time, Prince reportedly refused all testing, including the collection of blood and urine samples. After being treated, he left the hospital and returned home, she said. 

Investigators claim that Prince and his close companions were very protective of his privacy, and tried to hide his dependence on pills. Close friends and employees would reportedly get prescriptions for him in their name, in order to protect his privacy. 

“There is no doubt that the actions of individuals closely associated with Prince will be questioned, criticized and judged in the days and weeks to come,” Mark Metz, the Carver County prosecutor leading the investigation, said when he announced that no criminal charges would be filed.

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.