March 15, 2019 — The family of a man who died after using large amounts of kratom herbal supplements has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Socal Herbal Remedies, LLC.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Caleb Sturgis, a 25 year-old man whose died while driving to work in June 2018 of an apparent heart attack.
Further medical testing found high levels of kratom in his body and the coroner listed his cause of death as “kratom intoxication.” He had been using kratom for several years, his family said.
The kratom that he purchased from Socal had no warnings or dosing instructions besides “keep out of reach of children,” according to an attorney representing Sturgis.
Dozens of deaths have been linked to kratom in recent years, according to the FDA. The agency likened kratom to an opioid, warning in February 2018 that it carries a risk of addiction and abuse. Even so, the FDA has not restricted the sale or use of kratom.
Kratom continues to be sold as a “dietary supplement” and advertised as a natural treatment for pain, depression, anxiety and alleviating the effects of opioid withdrawal.
The lawsuit is In RE: Scott Sturgis v. Socal Herbal Remedies LLC —Case No. 190102001 filed in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.
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