In the lawsuit, filed this week in the Hennepin County District Court, Prince’s family states that Dr. Michael Schulenberg and other parties had “an opportunity and duty during the weeks before Prince’s death to diagnose and treat Prince’s opioid addiction, and to prevent his death. They failed to do so,” the Associated Press reports.
In the aftermath of Prince’s accidental overdose on April 21st, 2016, Schulenberg admitted to authorities that he had prescribed the powerful painkiller oxycodone to the singer’s bodyguard in order to protect Prince’s identity; Schulenberg was later fined $30,000 for that violation.
However, Prince’s overdose was the result of an “exceedingly high” level of Fentanyl in his system. It remains unclear who provided Prince with the Fentanyl, as an investigation into the Prince’s death yielded no suspects. Still, Prince’s family seeks unspecified damages in excess of $50,000 from Schulenberg, their lawyer John Goetz stated in the lawsuit.
In April, Prince’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a Moline, Illinois hospital Trinity Medical Center that briefly treated Prince in April 2016 after an overdose as well as two Minnesota-area Walgreens locations for “dispensing narcotic prescription medication” for invalid medical purposes.
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“The Minnesota lawsuit is against all parties whom we now believe share legal responsibility for Prince’s death, but it is possible that we will identify and add other parties as we move forward with the case,” Goetz said in a statement following the latest lawsuit.
In a statement, Schulenberg’s lawyer Paul Peterson told the AP, “We understand this situation has been difficult on everyone close to Mr. Nelson and his fans across the globe. Be that as it may, Dr. Schulenberg stands behind the care that Mr. Nelson received. We intend to defend this case.”