The settlement between the plaintiffs — Cornell’s widow Vicky and their children Toni and Christopher Nicholas — and the defendant Robert Koblin M.D. was reached last month, according to court documents obtained by Rolling Stone. Terms of the settlement remain confidential.
“After years of litigation and settlement negotiations, Plaintiffs and Defendants Robert Koblin, M.D., Robert Koblin, M.D., Inc. and Robertson Cardiovascular Center, LLC (collectively, ‘Defendants’) have reached a confidential settlement agreement to resolve all claims asserted by each Plaintiff,” the Cornell family lawyer Melissa Lerner stated in the sealed documents.
In arguing that the settlement and its corresponding documents be sealed and redacted, Lerner added, “Over the past several years, online trolls and other unstable individuals have harassed Plaintiffs, including by threatening the life and safety of [the Cornells’ children]. As recently as the past few weeks, Plaintiffs have received death threats online. Furthermore, the increased attention to this case has led to other invasions of Plaintiffs’ privacy.”
“Dr. Koblin enjoyed a close relationship with Chris and other members of his family. He cares deeply about his patients and was saddened at the loss of Chris, as he expressed to the family,” Koblin’s attorney, James Kjar, said in a statement. “Dr. Koblin believes that helping the family deal with the grieving process is paramount to any of the legal issues involved in the lawsuit that was filed. Resolution of this case was in the best interests of all parties involved to help everyone obtain closure.” (A rep for Vicky Cornell did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.)
The lawsuit, filed in November 2018, alleged that Koblin prescribed Cornell over 940 doses of the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam (also known as Ativan) between September 2015 and his death by suicide in May 2017. The suit claims that Koblin was also prescribing Cornell Oxycodone, though it alleges that the doctor never conducted a follow-up medical examination of Cornell, performed any lab studies or clinical assessments. The Cornell family sued Koblin for negligence, failure to obtain informed consent and willful misconduct.
The suit also claimed that Koblin failed to warn Cornell, “an addiction-prone individual,” about the possible side effects of Lorazepam, including impairment of judgement and rational thinking, diminished impulse control and increased risk of suicide; Vicky Cornell has long claimed that Cornell’s death was the result of overprescribed medication.
While traces of seven different drugs were found in Chris Cornell’s system in an autopsy following his death by suicide, the medical examiner in the case stated that “drugs did not contribute to the cause of death.”