Herbal Supplement Kratom Subject of Product Liability & Wrongful Death Claims
A new herbal supplement product that is largely unregulated has been linked to a number of deaths and lawsuits just within the last few months: Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant with origins in Southeast Asia that is commonly sold in U.S. stores, gas stations, bars and other locations. According to the Food and Drug Administration, almost two million Americans were reported to use the herb as of 2021, which can be ingested in powder form or by drinking beverages made from the herb.
What Is Kratom?
In one of the most recent deaths that occurred in July of a mother of four, the official cause of death was determined to be “mitragynine intoxication.” Mitragynine is one of the main psychoactive components of kratom. While in smaller doses, kratom can produce stimulant effects, at high concentrations, it can reportedly produce opioid-like effects, such as respiratory failure. It is used to not only treat anxiety and depression, but also pain and opioid addiction withdrawals as well,
No Regulatory Scheme
The herb, although easy to find in distribution throughout the U.S., has already been declared by the FDA as not being appropriate for use as a dietary supplement. In addition, the plant itself has not been approved for use in over-the-counter or prescription drugs. While the US Drug Enforcement Agency imposed its strictest restrictions on the herb in 2016, due to public backlash, it rescinded its prohibition.
The kratom distributor involved in the most recent death from July 2023 (Grow LLC, which conducts business as “The Kratom Distro”) was recently sued, and the victim’s family was awarded almost $12 million in damages, in connection with the pain and suffering they endured.
Another family lost their father to kratom three years ago after he stopped breathing and was pronounced dead, subsequent to taking kratom and suffering from the toxic effects of mitragynine. In the first just verdict in a civil claim for damages against a kratom distributor/manufacturer in the U.S., a jury awarded the family $2.5 million in damages against Society Botanicals LLC, which does business as “Kratom Divine,” after they filed a wrongful death lawsuit in December 2020. The company sold the product with no adverse reactions reported, other than “a couple people vomiting.”
If You’ve Been Harmed, Contact An Experienced Las Vegas Product Liability Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a product like this, it is critical that you speak with a product liability attorney right away in order to discuss your options for ensuring that justice is done. At Cameron Law, PLLC, our Las Vegas product liability attorneys can help: Contact us today to find out more about your options.