Chris Cornell’s Daughter’s Role As ‘Nominal Defendant’ Detailed In Death Lawsuit


Some media outlets have misreported Toni Cornell being a ‘nominal defendant’ in Vicky Cornell’s lawsuit against Dr. Robert Koblin over the death of her late husband Chris Cornell. This article is being written to clarify that initial false reporting. Lily Cornell-Silver is the ‘nominal defendant’ in the lawsuit, but in no way does that mean she is being sued.

The primary defendants listed on the lawsuit are, “ROBERT KOBLIN, M.D., ROBERT KOBLIN M.D., INC., ROBERTSON CARDIOVASCULAR CENTER, LLC, DOES 1 through 30, Inclusive, ROE OFFICE STAFF 1 through 5, Inclusive.” The second defendant, though nominally, is, “LILLIAN JEAN CORNELL-SILVER (nominal defendant pursuant to CCP 382) An Adult.” While Cornell-Silver is listed as a defendant, this does not mean she is being sued, it just means that her consent was not obtained to become a plaintiff, which according to California law means she is a ‘nominal defendant.’

California Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) section 382 states, inter alia, that when one cannot obtain the consent of another person who should be joined as a plaintiff, “he may be made a defendant, the reason thereof being stated in the complaint….” A non-consenting person in such a situation is often referred to as a “nominal defendant” because he is a defendant in name only.

“If the consent of any one who should have been joined as plaintiff cannot be obtained, he may be made a defendant, the reason thereof being stated in the complaint; and when the question is one of a common or general interest, of many persons, or when the parties are numerous, and it is impracticable to bring them all before the court, one or more may sue or defend for the benefit of all.”

The plaintiffs are: “VICKY CORNELL, Individually, TONI CORNELL and CHRISTOPHER NICHOLAS CORNELL, Minors by and through their Guardian ad Litem, VICKY CORNELL.”

The case is described as:


1. Negliegence
2. Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
3. Willful Misconduct
4. Heir as Nominal Defendant


There are other references to defendants in the lawsuit, all of which specifically omit Lily.