Family Demands Justice with $10 Million Lawsuit After Oregon Man Dies from Kratom Overdose

Michael Cowgill

The family of a man from Oregon, who died after using kratom, is seeking $10 million in damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. This case is against a Portland, Oregon area head shop chain and unnamed individuals. The family’s demand for compensation is in line with past cases, including a recent $11 million award in Florida and a $2.5 million jury verdict in Washington State related to kratom.

39-year-old Matthew Torres used a product called “Real Kratom” on May 27, 2021. Shortly after, he suffered a severe seizure with convulsions and foaming at the mouth. Matthew died despite his girlfriend’s immediate call to 911 and her efforts to perform CPR until help arrived. The medical examiner in Clackamas County, Oregon found that his death was caused by an overdose of mitragynine, the active compound in kratom. Kratom was the only substance found in his system.

The lawsuit (Case No. 24CV10003) was filed by Matthew’s mother, Mary Torres, on behalf of his estate in The Circuit Court of Oregon for Multnomah County. The defendants named in the case include the House of Pipes and Tobacco, LLC, and unnamed upstream suppliers of kratom. It alleges that several parties involved in the kratom product’s lifecycle, from import to sale, played a role in Matthew’s death.

The complaint alleges that the House of Pipes markets its kratom “for research purposes, not for human consumption,” despite knowing that customers like Matt purchase Real Kratom for consumption as a drink. It is part of a larger problem of kratom entering the country illegally through mysterious shell companies with deceptive and misleading labeling.

“The kratom industry appears to be organized a lot like a drug cartel,” says the Torres’ family attorney Michael Cowgill of mctlaw. “Kratom manufacturers, distributors, and sellers try to conceal their ownership and financial activities to avoid accountability. Families like the Torres’ have had enough of this deception and deserve justice.” 

Matthew Torres lived in Beavercreek, Oregon, with his longtime girlfriend and worked as a skilled carpenter, focusing on finishing work for home construction. He also enjoyed gardening and woodworking, creating hand-crafted decor items he would share with family and friends.

About mctlaw: The attorneys at mctlaw are national leaders in kratom wrongful death litigation and are committed to seeking justice for the families of those impacted by this substance. Our attorneys won a $2.5 million dollar kratom wrongful death jury verdict in Washington state and an $11 million dollar kratom wrongful death judgment in Florida on behalf of our clients.

For questions about kratom lawsuits across the United States, contact attorney Michael Cowgill, and attorney Tamara Williams at 888.952.5242. You can find more information about kratom litigation at

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