A Georgia man’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit after he died from drinking kratom in his orange juice. On November 19, 2020, Peter McPherson began shaking uncontrollably at the dinner table and fell down after drinking the kratom he mixed into his juice. His wife and son “performed CPR on him for 15 minutes,” the lawsuit says. Peter was taken to Murray County Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The Gordon County medical examiner reports the cause of death as acute mitragynine toxicity. Mitragynine is one of the active alkaloids from the plant commonly known as kratom.
The Lawsuit Against the Kratom Manufacturers, Distributors, and Sellers
The lawsuit alleges that the kratom products manufactured, distributed, and sold by the defendants are responsible for the death of husband and father, Peter McPherson. The complaint (Case No, 22-C-06494-S3), filed in Gwinnett County Court, lists Expert Botanicals LLC, SAS Wholesalers LLC, Star Importers and Wholesalers Inc., Amin Monty Hudda, Karim Sherali Hudda, Shanaz Amin Hudda, Ziya Business Inc, Samadali Lakhani, Hamid Madatali Kazani, Manisha Babul, Jai Baliyade V Inc., CDP USA LLC, Murad Ali, and Birva 1 Inc. as defendants.
Lack of Kratom Package Labeling
Under the law, kratom sellers are required to include specific labeling on kratom packaging, including warnings, directions for safe use, and ingredient amounts. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants “have failed to comply with Georgia law in the manufacture, packaging, marketing, and/or sale of the products at issue.”
Not Approved for Human Consumption
“The Kratom industry is profiting from the reckless distribution of a deadly product,” says the family’s attorney, Talis Abolins of mctlaw. “Kratom is not approved for human consumption and is sold without any verification of consumer safety. The results are tragic. We represent a growing number of families whose loved ones died because of kratom. It is time for accountability,” adds Mr. Abolins. The attorneys at mctlaw have filed kratom death claims in five states and are partnering with the Cooper Firm for Georgia cases.
“Although not formally classified as an opiate, kratom contains dozens of psychoactive compounds or alkaloids,” says the complaint. There are “serious risks associated with the use of kratom,” according to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) news release cited in the lawsuit. These risks include “abuse, dependence, addiction, overdose, and death.”
Deaths from Kratom on the Rise Nationally
The number of kratom poisonings and overdoses in the U.S. rose dramatically over the past 10 years, adds the complaint. “Peter McPherson’s family is going through an unbearable trauma that should have never happened,” says attorney Michael Cowgill from the Florida office of mctlaw. “But they are not alone in their grief. They believe that putting a spotlight on the dangers of kratom will help other families avoid the same tragedy.”
Mctlaw is a national trial law firm with offices in Sarasota, FL; Washington, D.C., and Seattle, WA. We represent families of kratom victims across the country in lawsuits against the manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of kratom. For questions about our national kratom litigation, contact attorneys Talis Abolins at [email protected]; Michael Cowgill at [email protected]; Tamara Williams at [email protected]; or call 888.952.5242. You can find more information about kratom litigation at mctlaw.com/medical-product-liability/kratom-lawsuits/