Glenn Frey's widow sues hospital for wrongful death

Musician Glenn Frey (R) and his wife Cindy
Musician Glenn Frey (R) and his wife Cindy pictured here in 2010. Source: Getty

Glenn Frey’s widow is suing a New York hospital and doctor for wrongful death, claiming they failed to properly treat her husband in the months leading up to his death.

The Eagles rocker died in January, 2016, aged 67, due to complications arising from rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and pneumonia. Glenn had been treated at the Mount Sinai Hospital for ulcerative colitis.

Reuters reports his widow Cindy says the hospital and gastroenterologist Steven Itzkowitz were negligent when they failed to properly diagnose and treat an infection, and advise of the risks and side effects from treatment. According to Reuters, the complaint claims “Glenn Frey was rendered sick, sore, lame and disabled,” and suffered pain and mental anguish prior to his death.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. It largely affects the colon with symptoms including rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and pain. The condition is incurable, but can be managed with medication.

Just months after Glenn’s death a study published in the BMJ found medical errors killed thousands of people in the US every year. Researchers said medical errors were responsible for more deaths than lower respiratory diseases like emphysema and bronchitis and were the third leading cause of death in the US.

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Fans around the world were shocked to hear of Glenn’s death at the time, with many unaware of his increasingly poor health. A statement released by his band said the guitarist “fought a courageous battle for … several weeks” but was unable to pull through.

“Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide,” the band wrote on social media.

Frey founded the revered rock band in 1971, going on to sell 150 million albums worldwide and becoming one of the most popular and successful groups in history. They won six Grammys and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Just months after Glenn’s death, guitarist Don Henley announced the band was splitting for good, saying their performance at the 2016 Grammy’s was their last. “That was the final farewell,” he told the BBC. “I don’t think you’ll see us performing again. I think that was probably it. I think it was an appropriate farewell.” However, they have since resumed touring.

While some bands find egos and tension get in the way of friendship after years of travelling and recording together, it seems it was not the case for the Eagles. Don wrote on social media following Glenn’s death that the guitarist was like family.

“Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan,” he said. “I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life.”

Were you a fan of Eagles? Do you worry about the standard of care in hospitals these days?