Prince’s Family Sues Illinois Hospital and Walgreens for Wrongful Death

Musician Prince performs at the 36th NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 19, 2005, in Los Angeles.
Musician Prince performs at the 36th NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 19, 2005, in Los Angeles.
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

All six of Prince’s siblings have joined together to sue personnel at an Illinois hospital that treated the music superstar after he suffered from an opioid overdose a week before his death. The family has also named Walgreens pharmacy in its wrongful death suit.

The heirs filed the lawsuit in Illinois on Friday, a day before the statute of limitations ran out, alleging that a doctor and various pharmacists failed to provide Prince with reasonable care, contributing to his death six days later at his home in Paisley Park outside of Minneapolis.

The family charges that Trinity Medical Center in Moline, Ill., failed to appropriately treat and investigate Prince’s April 15, 2016, overdose after his plane was grounded following what ended up being his final concert in Atlanta. They are credited with saving his life, but the family believes that they did not follow up properly.


The suit also accuses Walgreens and pharmacists at two of its Minnesota branches of “dispensing prescription medications not valid for a legitimate medical purpose,” the Associated Press reports.

On April 21, 2016, Prince died of an overdose after he was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park studio compound in Chatham, Minn. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Authorities now say that it was likely Prince didn’t know he was taking fentanyl, which was laced in counterfeit pills made to look like a generic version of the painkiller Vicodin.

According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, a urine drug screen could have led medical authorities to the realization that Prince had overdosed on fentanyl, but the singer refused the test and told singer Judith Hill, who was with him in the emergency room, that he would take the tests when he returned to Minnesota and that the person (still unknown) who gave him the pills did so “to help him relax.”

Documents show that the Vicodin-fentanyl pill that he had with him was sent to the pharmacy for testing. Prosecutors said last week that no chemical testing was done on the pill.


The lawsuit alleges that the pharmacist and emergency room physician, Dr. Nicole Mancha, failed to diagnose and treat the overdose in a timely fashion and failed to provide appropriate counseling.

Walgreens is being sued because the prescription pills given to Prince were written under the name of his Paisley Park manager and bodyguard, Kirk Johnson.


“We will have much to say when the time is right,” said John Goetz, the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of the family. “We have client interests to protect at the moment, including our theory of the case. What happened to Prince is happening to families across America. Prince’s family wishes, through its investigation, to shed additional light on what happened to Prince.”

No one has been charged in the then-57-year-old singer’s death.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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As I said on Twitter, this is the stupidest thing. Prince refused treatment and the hospital in Moline couldnt provide the “privacy” that his entourage demanded. He was given a ‘back to life’ shot and recovered. You cant treat a patient who refuses treatment and then they left and went on to MN. Prince was later seen at Walgreens and also HELD A CONCERT IN PAISLEY PARK AFTER F’N DYING AND COMING BACK TO LIFE so what happened in Moline had nothing to do with his ultimate death.

That family needs to spend more time dealing with his catalog, getting a solid record deal and distribution sorted out and release his music. Bunch of asshats.