Slipknot Bassist’s Family Settles With Doctor Accused of Enabling Drug Abuse

By Victoria Kim 01/24/18

The family claims the doctor continued to prescribe Xanax to Paul Gray despite knowing his issues with the anti-anxiety drug. 

Paul Gray
Paul Gray Photo via YouTube

The family of late Slipknot bass player Paul Gray, who died of a fatal overdose in 2010, has reached a settlement with the doctor accused of having a hand in Gray’s death.

The lawsuit against Dr. Daniel Baldi and his employer, UnityPoint-Des Moines, was scheduled to go to trial on Monday (Jan. 22) but according to the Des Moines Register, the two sides settled for an undisclosed amount over the weekend. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Gray’s daughter, who was born three months after his death.

The family accused Baldi of continuing to prescribe Xanax to Gray despite knowing his issues with the anti-anxiety drug. 

The settlement comes years after Baldi was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter by a jury in 2014. In 2012 the doctor was charged by prosecutors in Polk County, Iowa, of 10 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of nine patients including Gray. 

Widow Brenna Gray recounted the days leading up to the fatal overdose in court. The family staged an intervention for Gray, after which he retreated to the TownePlace Suites hotel in Urbandale. 

Brenna testified that she was afraid to call the police because of what might happen if they found Paul’s drugs in the house. She said she had called two Slipknot bandmates for help, but neither showed up. “One was playing golf two minutes away from our house but couldn’t come,” she said. “Nobody else cared, nobody was involved. They told me it was my problem.”

Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor was honored last September for being a recovery role model and speaking up about his long history of drug use and eventual recovery.

Gray was found two days later, dead in his hotel room. His death was caused by an overdose of an “array of drugs” including fentanyl and morphine.

Baldi has since returned to practicing medicine as an anesthesiologist after retrieving his license in 2016.

During the 2014 trial, Brenna Gray testified that Baldi was slow to taper down her husband’s Xanax prescriptions. “I just knew it was his drug of choice, that he’d struggled with it,” she said. “So I just wasn’t really sure why he was on it, why he needed it along with the medication he was taking for addiction.” 

Baldi’s lawyer Guy Cook countered that Gray had died of a fatal drug cocktail that included illicit substances he had obtained from sources other than Dr. Baldi. Cook also mentioned that among the “numerous pill bottles” found in Gray’s hotel room, just one of them had contained meds prescribed by Baldi. The drug was Suboxone.

Another pain relief doctor, Dr. Steven Quam, testified at the trial that he had dropped two patients, Jason Spong and Jeff Johnson, because they exhibited signs of drug abuse. The two men later received treatment from Dr. Baldi. They were among the nine patients that died under Baldi’s care.

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