Mctlaw Wins a Groundbreaking Legal Judgment Holding Kratom Manufacturer Negligent


A negligence ruling by a Washington State Judge in a kratom wrongful death lawsuit is the first of its kind in the United States. Judge Gary Bashor entered a summary judgment against Society Botanicals, finding the Oregon company negligent due to “inadequate warnings and instructions” on the packaging of their product, Kratom Divine. 

Thirty-nine year old Patrick Coyne died on Father’s Day after taking Kratom Divine. Plastic pouches of Kratom Divine contained no dosage instructions and no warning labels. Judge Bashor found Society Botanicals negligent in this case “because adequate warnings or instructions were not provided with the Kratom Divine product.” 

The motion by mctlaw attorneys Talis Abolins, Michael Cowgill, and Tamara Williams and granted by Judge Bashor against Society Botanicals is a groundbreaking decision against the kratom industry. This type of judgment is usually made by a jury during trial, but Society Botanicals’ negligence was so severe and self-evident that no jury would have reasonably found that this packaging was acceptable. 

This judgment is an important win by the attorneys at mctlaw on behalf of families around the country who are trying to hold the kratom industry accountable for the deaths and injuries of their loved ones. The attorneys at mctlaw are on the frontlines of this epidemic and represent people with kratom wrongful death and kratom injury cases across the United States. 

The Wrongful Death of Patrick Coyne from Kratom

On July 5, 2023, two individuals and two companies will stand trial for their roles in the packaging, distribution, and sale of the kratom that allegedly caused the death of Patrick Coyne. The Cowlitz County Coroner confirmed that Patrick died from the “Toxic Effects of Mitragynine (Kratom)” — a plant-based powder imported from Southeast Asia. The kratom powder was packaged as “Kratom Divine” by Society Botanicals, and then distributed throughout the region by Young’s JK.  

Until June 28, 2020, Patrick Coyne lived with his wife and three children in Castle Rock, Washington, and worked as a marine mechanic for Clemens Marine in Portland, Oregon.  On the morning of June 28, 2020, Patrick’s wife tried to wake Patrick for a trip to buy a motorcycle helmet as a Father’s Day present, but he was already dead. First responders arrived, but it was too late. He couldn’t be revived.

Wide Ranging Implications for Kratom Distributors

Judge Bashor’s ruling has far-reaching implications for other kratom distributors in the United States and kratom companies should be paying attention. Many sellers, including Kratom Divine, improperly claim their products have medicinal uses and they market kratom to the public as a safe solution to chronic pain, addiction, anxiety, and other health issues.

Seeking Justice for those Killed by Kratom

This judgment sends a message to the kratom industry that they will be held accountable by the families represented by mctlaw, which filed some of the first kratom wrongful death cases in the country and is a national leader in kratom wrongful death litigation. This ruling is a huge step in finally getting justice.

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