Herman Herman Katz has filed one of the first kratom wrongful death lawsuits in Louisiana on behalf of parents whose son died after taking kratom. The lawsuit filed in Monroe in the 4th Judicial District Court of Louisiana seeks damages from the seller and manufacturers of OPMS brand kratom. 

The victim was a 25-year-old who died in West Monroe, Louisiana, after ingesting OPMS brand kratom that he purchased from a local gas station. The defendants named in the lawsuit are Martian Sales Inc., Jopen, LLC, Johnson Foods LLC, Lp Ind., LLC, Cag Holdings, LLC, R.m.h. Holdings, Inc., and Vikram-Vijay LLC.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom is an herbal substance derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna Speciosa tree in southeast Asia that can produce stimulant effects. While kratom is touted as safe by manufacturers, it’s been linked to a significant number of deaths nationwide. A study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy found that kratom is 63 times more deadly than other natural products. Even when kratom doesn’t kill, it’s associated with serious side effects, including:

  • Nervousness and agitation
  • Aggression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Tremors
  • Loss of libido
  • Constipation
  • Skin hyperpigmentation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Addiction and withdrawal 
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Overdose

Kratom is banned in several states, including Alabama, Indiana, and Wisconsin. In Louisiana, kratom is banned in Ascension, Grant, LaSalle, and Rapides Parishes with more parishes considering a ban over the next year.  

Who Is Being Held Responsible in the Kratom Lawsuit 

The defendants in the product liability lawsuit are accused of profiting from unfair and deceptive business practices while promoting and selling dangerous kratom products. The OPMS brand is one of the largest in the country and consists of multiple companies. The companies sell kratom to gas stations, smoke shops, herbal stores, and corner stores and claim that the substance can help with opioid withdrawal, pain relief, and mental health symptoms. The kratom manufacturers and sellers violated the Louisiana Products Liability Act by manufacturing and selling a product that was unreasonably dangerous in design. 

Additionally, they failed to provide adequate warnings about the potential side effects of kratom, including the potential for abuse, addiction, overdose, and death; daily consumption limits and recommended dosing; the risk of combining kratom with prescription medications; and the risk of heart failure. The seller of the product is also named in the lawsuit. They are liable for selling a defective product and failing to make the product’s defective nature known.  

The plaintiffs seek survival damages for fear of loss of life, pre-death mental and physical pain and suffering, and loss of life. They also seek wrongful death damages for past, present, and future loss of love, companionship, attention, and affection; past, present, and future emotional distress and psychological injury; loss of consortium, company, and society of their son; and transportation, burial, and/or funeral expenses. They seek a jury trial.

If you’ve lost a loved one to kratom, you may have legal options. Call Herman Herman Katz at 844-943-7626 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. 

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