The Heirs to Music Superstar Prince’s Estate Are Suing Walgreens Over His Death
Prince died in 2016 of an accidental opioid painkiller overdose. The lawsuit, filed by the superstar musician’s relatives, reportedly takes aim at the hospital for allegedly failing to properly investigate and treat an initial overdose the singer-songwriter survived less than a week before another overdose which killed him. The suit also claims that two Walgreens pharmacists gave Prince medication for an “invalid medical purpose,” according to the Times, and that the employees didn’t properly review the prescription drug utilization. Fortune has reached out to Walgreens and Trinity Medical Center about the reported litigation and will update this post if they respond.
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“What happened to Prince is happening to families across America,” said George Loucas and John Goetz, the lawyers for Prince’s next of kin, in a statement 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.”
Prosecutors in Minnesota, where Prince died, announced last week that they would not file criminal charges in the overdose death because they couldn’t pinpoint who had given the musician the drugs that killed him. Carver County attorney Mark Metz revealed that Prince, who likely believed he was taking regular Vicodin, had actually been given counterfeit medication containing the powerful (and deadly) opioid fentanyl.
While Prince is a high-profile victim of the opioid epidemic, the overdose crisis has spared few corners of America in recent years — and an increasing number of states and individuals are suing organizations that they believe have fueled the sea of addiction. Drug manufacturers and distributors, including Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor and OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, have faced suits on the issue, including for what plaintiffs say are aggressive and irresponsible opioid marketing practices.