June 10, 2009

Coroner: Gans’s death an accident

A coroner in Las Vegas has ruled impressionist Danny Gans died accidentally of heart failure brought on by a toxic level of the pain killer hydromorphone.

Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy would not characterize the May 1 death of the 52-year-old performer as a drug overdose, The New York Times reported Thursday. He also did not disclose the level of hydromorphone, which is marketed as Dilaudid, in Gans's system.

Chip Lightman, Gans's manager, said he didn't know his client was using the medication.

Gans had shoulder surgery early this year and then follow-up surgery in March to remove scar tissue.