Kratom Wrongful Death Lawsuits
An herbal supplement with opioid-like effects, Kratom has recently been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Although the substance has been touted for its health benefits — including pain relief and mood enhancement — recent reports suggest that kratom consumption can lead to severe injuries and even death. Kratom manufacturers and distributors are now facing wrongful death lawsuits by the families of people who died after taking the herb.What Is Kratom?
Kratom is an herbal extract made from the leaves of a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. It comes in a variety of forms, including pills, powders, leaves, and liquids. Believed to act on opioid receptors, many people use kratom to self-treat conditions such as pain, anxiety, depression, coughing, and diarrhea.
In addition, individuals with substance use disorders often take the herb to avoid the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. The mind-altering substance is also sometimes used recreationally at music festivals and other social events. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 1.7 million people 12 and older in the US reported using kratom in 2021.Is Kratom Safe?
This use of kratom is controversial. Many people who take the supplement strongly believe in its value and effectiveness. Fewer than half of American states regulate the herb and only a handful ban it. An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that less than one percent of the unintentional overdose deaths from July 2016 - December 2017 entered into the state reporting database tested positive for kratom.
However, many others believe the herb’s safety problems outweigh any potential benefits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned Americans not to use kratom because of the risk of dangerous side effects, including liver toxicity, seizures, and substance use disorder. Furthermore, it says certain kratom products have been contaminated with problematic levels of heavy metals and bacteria such as salmonella.What Do Kratom Lawsuits Claim?
Kratom has been involved in several recent lawsuits and large jury awards. Most of this litigation argues that manufacturers and distributors failed to warn consumers about kratom’s health risks. So far in 2023, the following kratom lawsuits have made the news:
- Florida: The family of a 39-year-old woman who died after taking kratom in June 2021 was awarded $11 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against Grow LLC (operating under the name the Kratom Distro).
- Washington: The family of a 39-year-old man who died of acute kratom toxicity in June 2020 received a $2.5 million judgment in a wrongful death lawsuit against Society Botanicals LLC (doing business as Kratom Divine).
- California: A class action lawsuit filed against Ashlynn Marketing Group Inc. (selling its products as Krave Botanicals) alleged false, misleading, deceptive, and negligent sales practices, including failing to warn consumers that kratom is highly addictive.
If you or a family member has been harmed by kratom, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance from a personal injury attorney. You have the right to hold negligent companies accountable for your injuries and receive compensation for your losses. The Boston lawyers at Altman & Altman LLP have been helping those harmed by defective drugs and other products for over 50 years. For more information about your legal options, contact us for a free consultation today.