Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 4, 2018 – In 2016, fifty-seven year old, Prince died suddenly while at his home. The cause of his death was not clear, until the recent release of his toxicology report.
The report indicated that Prince died due to an accidental overdose of Fentanyl. According to the Carver County attorney Mark Metz, Prince thought he was taking Vicodin and may not have realized it was laced with Fentanyl – a synthetic drug 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin.
Fentanyl overdose deaths can happen with blood levels ranging between 3 to 58 micrograms per liter. The Associated Press (AP) reported the Fentanyl concentration in Prince’s blood was 67.8 micrograms per liter. Despite a two-year police investigation, it has not been determined how Prince obtained the Fentanyl laced Vicodin.
An initial public autopsy report was issued after the singer’s death, stating that his death was due to an accidental overdose of Fentanyl, but the exact level of the drug in his bloodstream was not released. Recently, the complete autopsy report was released to attorneys for Prince’s family in order for them to determine if a wrongful death lawsuit could be filed. A wrongful death lawsuit, would be separate and apart from any criminal investigation.
“In a situation such as this one,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin wrongful death attorney, who is not involved in the case, “the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit being filed could hinge on whether or not the singer was prescribed Fentanyl by a physician. Further to this, if a doctor prescribed a controlled drug to Prince, but used another person’s name, they would be under investigation.”
In this case, a local doctor did write a prescription for oxycodone for Prince in 2016 and used the name of the singer’s bodyguard to protect his privacy. The physician is not a target of a criminal investigation. No charges can be laid as the police have not been able to discover how Prince obtained the Fentanyl laced Vicodin and who he got it from.
When dealing with a suspicious death, it is best to seek the counsel of an experienced wrongful death attorney to determine if there is the possibility of filing a lawsuit. “Wrongful death cases are complex and distressing,” added Schuelke, “and it’s paramount you know your legal rights in order to make an informed decision about how to proceed.”
Schuelke Law PLLC
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Austin, TX 78705
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