According to AL.com, the estate of former 3 DOORS DOWN guitarist Matt Roberts has filed a lawsuit against a south Alabama doctor, saying that he was responsible for the musician's death.
Roberts died of a prescription drug overdose on August 20, 2016 in a Wisconsin hotel. One of the drugs in his system at the time of his death was filled by the Rite Aid pharmacy in Spanish Fort, Alabama.
Last November, Dr. Richard Snellgrove was indicted for illegal drug distribution in connection with Roberts's death. Court documents showed that Roberts had been one of Snellgrove's patients since at least 2004.
The six-count indictment alleged that on five different occasions, Dr. Snellgrove prescribed controlled substances in the names of different individuals knowing and intending that the drugs would go to Roberts. These five prescriptions were for methadone, hydrocodone, lorazepam, and fentanyl. All five of these prescriptions were allegedly written outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Count six alleged that on August 18, 2016, Dr. Snellgrove prescribed 75mcg/hr fentanyl patches directly to Roberts outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.
An attorney representing Snellgrove said last November that the physician did nothing wrong.
"If medication played a role in Mr. Roberts's death, it was because of improper use, not anything that was attributed to anything Dr. Snellgrove did," the attorney said.
The suit against Snellgrove and Rite Aid Corporation alleges the doctor prescribed Roberts high levels of opioids for six-year period starting in 2006, causing the musician to become addicted to the drugs. Snellgrove allegedly continued to prescribe the same drugs to Roberts for years, even after Roberts went to rehab for his addiction in 2012.
Rite Aid is named as a defendant in the lawsuit because a pharmacist at the Spanish Fort store allegedly suspected Roberts had a drug addiction and yet continued to fill the musician's prescriptions shortly before his overdose.
"Commencing litigation is an important step toward holding these individuals and entities responsible for their role in Matt's death," the Roberts' family attorney, Joey Dumas, said in a press release.
A founding member of 3 DOORS DOWN, Matt left the band in 2012 to concentrate on his health after experiencing circulation problems that were exacerbated by the group's heavy touring schedule. He was replaced by Chet Roberts.