MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Behind the costumes, persona and music, Minnesota music icon Prince was concealing a secret.
He hid an addiction to painkillers, which ultimately took his life two years ago at age 57.
Carver County authorities announced no one would be criminally charged in Prince’s death earlier this year, but now his family members are suing several parties.
Filed in Hennepin County on Friday, the lawsuit names Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg, Walgreens Pharmacies and hospitals in both Illinois and Minnesota.
It alleges all the defendants “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,” but “they failed to do so.”
Video from the Prince investigative case file shows Dr. Schulenberg meeting with Prince the day before his death.
Authorities believe he prescribed the singer Oxycodone in the name of his bodyguard, Kirk Johnson, to protect his privacy.
Ultimately, Schulenberg agreed to pay a $30,000 fine to settle that federal civil violation.
Paul Peterson, Schulenberg’s attorney, provided the following statement to WCCO-TV:
We have great respect for the legal process and I do not want to say anything which might influence or compromise the integrity of the proceedings. However, upon review of the lawsuit, we believe this case has no merit.
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.