The estate for the late singer Prince filed a lawsuit against Walgreens and a physician at Moline, Illinois, Trinity Medical Center on Monday, April 23.
In the lawsuit, the singer’s heirs claim that the pharmacists failed to take reasonable care when filling his prescriptions. They also accuse the hospital of having failed to properly treat and later investigate the events leading up to the singer’s near-death overdose on April 15, 2016, six days prior to his death.
In the Cook County filing, the family accuses the Illinois-based Walgreens Co. and a number of its Minnesota store pharmacists of having caused the singer’s death by dispensing prescription drugs to him that were clearly not intended to be used for a valid medical reason.
As for why the hospital’s being sued, it stems from events that occurred one week prior to the singer’s death.
According to the lawsuit, the singer had apparently performed a concert in Atlanta in the days prior to his death. As he was on his way home, it became necessary for the singer’s plane to make an unplanned stop at an airport in Moline after the singer passed out midair. Doctors at the Illinois hospital ultimately had to administer an opioid overdose reversal drug to revive the singer.
Once the singer came to, he asked his doctors to let him know what drug he’s consumed. His physicians preliminarily told him that it looked like the prescription painkiller Vicodin. A pharmacist at the same hospital also concluded that the medication he’d said he’d taken was the same drug. The pill was ultimately returned to the singer.
Apparently no chemical testing was ever performed to confirm what the pill may have been. The family suspects that it was purposely disguised to look like Vicodin, but cut with fentanyl, an opioid drug with 50 times the potency of the street drug heroin.
Family members also allege that the emergency room doctor tending to the singer in Moline failed to provide the singer with necessary counseling to avoid a potential overdose. They also allege that the doctor willfully prescribed the singer oxycodone in his bodyguard’s name and that Walgreens pharmacists readily filled it.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to suspected physician or pharmacist neglect, then a Chicago attorney can advise you of the next steps you may want to take in your legal matter.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Prince heirs sue Walgreens, Illinois hospital over care during overdose,” Amy Forliti, April 24, 2018