Corona, CA: Lawsuit filed in connection with Blasberg death

A civil lawsuit filed Friday accuses Dr. Thomas Hess of wrongful death and malpractice in the death of Erica Blasberg, the professional golfer from Corona.

Erica Blasberg's father, Mel, said the complaint was filed on behalf of his daughter's estate in Nevada Superior Court. Erica Blasberg committed suicide May 9, 2010.

"A year has been spent to find out what happened to make sure that the lawsuit is not frivolous and that it's based on fact," Mel Blasberg said. "And we're 100 percent confident after spending so much time that we'll prevail.

"(Hess) failed her in a bunch of ways. He's directly responsible for her death because of what he did and did not do, that's clear. He failed her because he did things he shouldn't have and because he didn't do things he should have."

In addition to playing golf with Hess, Erica Blasberg was a patient of his, Mel Blasberg said.

The Clark County Coroner's Office ruled that the cause of Erica Blasberg's death was suicide due to asphyxia and toxic levels of prescription medication in her system. The prescription drugs included headache, cough, pain and anti-anxiety medications, according to the toxicology report.

Hess called 911 after he discovered Erica Blasberg's body on the afternoon of May 9. He is believed to be the last person to have seen her alive, telling police he visited her at her Henderson, Nev., home the night before she died.

On Dec. 1, Hess pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for removing prescription drugs and a suicide note from the scene after he found Blasberg in her home. He was sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service at Volunteers of Medicine of Southern Nevada.

The Blasbergs will hold a one-year memorial when they will unveil a monument at Erica's gravesite Monday in Corona del Mar.

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