Liability in the Prince Wrongful Death Case: An Early Guess Without Many Facts

Cases, Hospitals, Opioid, Wrongful Death

The Prince wrongful death case has been filed.  But the record of what really happened to Prince is not out there yet.  By “record,” I mean not the general facts of what happened.  We all know his plane made an emergency landing due to a medical emergency on April 15, 2016.  He was administered two doses of Naloxone, a drug designed to reserve the effects of an opioid overdose.  He was than released from the hospital, apparently from his own requests after he refused to take any medical tests or drug tests.  He also refused to tell provides what he had taken.  Six days later on April 21, he was found unresponsive at his home and passed away.

But the medical record is not out in the public’s eye.  This is the medical chart, such as the admission report, discharge notes, and other information in the chart.

The claims in the newly filed wrongful death lawsuit are that the hospital and medical staff inadequately treated him which directly resulted to his death.  The claims range from inappropriate treatment, poor assessments, early discharge, and just negligent care and treatment.

But was it really the hospital’s fault?

What is a hospital supposed to do when a patient, who is lucid but in a medical crisis, refuses to consent to medical tests?  Refuses to give information?  Refuses to even STAY in a hospital?

The real issue will be what did the healthcare providers tell Prince when he was refusing care and treatment and refusing the stay.  If the healthcare providers told him that he could be seriously injured or killed by an early discharge or refusing care and treatment, then it is likely that the healthcare providers have met their duty of care and will NOT be liable.  

If on the other hand the healthcare providers did not advise him of the risks of not being properly treated, providing information or tests, or staying longer in the hospital, then that could actually result in the hospital being liable for an early discharge.

Right now the key is not in the facts that have been released to the public, but in the facts that are out of the public’s eye in the medical records of the hospital.  These will be exchanged during disclosure and will become part of the public record as the family brought a wrongful death lawsuit, waiving any HIPAA rights that may still exist in their state.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at