Prince Wrongful Death Case Dismissed
A legal expert said it was likely that individual settlements had been reached with each defendant as their names were removed from the suit. Claims against Walgreens, the pharmacy that fulfilled prescriptions for Prince, and Trinity Medical Center, where he was treated for an opioid overdose a week before his death, were dismissed in August. Claims against Dr. Michael Shulenberg, a doctor who treated Prince in the weeks leading up to his death, were dismissed in November.
The case was launched in April 2018, two years after Prince’s death, and three months after authorities concluded that there was not enough evidence to pursue murder charges, even though it was suspected that he’d been given illegal opioids and probably didn’t know he was taking them. In their deposition, the family members who remain in dispute over his estate submitted a list of people they said should have been able to save his life, but didn’t, and were therefore acting illegally.
Professor Henry Blair of Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, said the language of the dismissals left him “99.99 percent sure those are settlements,” although no lawyer involved with the case commented.
Meanwhile, the legal case over the estate, which is in dispute because Prince left no will, continues. “Court filings several months after Prince’s death suggested the estate was worth around $200 million before taxes,” AP reported. “More recent filings suggest the estate and Internal Revenue Service have not yet agreed on its value.” The report added that “[p]rotracted litigation isn’t unusual for big estates, even when there is a will.”
Prince’s siblings Sharon, Norrine and John Nelson said in a recent filing that the case had already cost the estate “millions of dollars" and that it had involved too much expenditure “for far too long.”