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The Kratom Controversy: Part II

September 17 2019 | Blog
  • Is kratom still legal? What action can you take if you have suffered adverse health effects that may be related to kratom? Read this article to find the answers to these questions.

    In our previous article, we explained what kratom is, what contributes to its relatively wide-spread use among the American public, and why this trend is concerning in the eyes of some federal regulatory bodies. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of how some states have decided to tackle the risks related to kratom consumption. We will also provide some helpful information for those who suffered injuries related to kratom use as well as for the families of those who might have lost a relative due to unintentional kratom overdose.

    Legislative Action Against Kratom

    As of May 2019, the U.S. government hasn’t imposed any federal ban or regulations on the sales and use of kratom and kratom-based products. In general terms, this means that the substance isn’t illegal at a federal level. However, several states have taken measures against kratom with some introducing statewide bans effectively outlawing the substance. These states include:

    • Alabama
    • Arkansas
    • Indiana
    ·  Tennessee

    ·  Wisconsin

    ·  Vermont

     

    In addition, selected counties and cities in other states have taken similar measures. For example, kratom sales and consumption have been banned in San Diego, CA, Sarasota County, FL, and Jerseyville, IL.

    In April 2019, the Arizona State Legislature passed the Kratom Consumer Protection Act that was subsequently signed into law by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. The act makes it a class 2 misdemeanor – punishable with up to four months in jail and fines of up to $750 – to sell kratom and kratom-based products to minors. It also introduces new labeling regulations for kratom products under which manufacturers are now obliged to disclose the complete composition of any such products they produce and sell.

    Can You File a Claim Against a Kratom Manufacturer?

    As perfectly illustrated by the multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the producers of popular opioid drugs, a manufacturer of a substance that is shown to have dangerous side effects can absolutely be brought to liability for the injuries caused by the use of said substance. Under product liability law, legal action can be pursued in the following circumstances:

    • Defective manufacturing – refers to situations where a drug or a substance has caused injuries due to defects in manufacturing such as contaminating the product or using a wrong ingredient. This is relevant since some kratom products have been previously reported to cause outbreaks of salmonella infections due to contamination with multiple strains of Salmonella bacteria.
    • Dangerous side effects – where a product is reported to cause serious side effects resulting in dangerous injuries with no or insufficient warning of such risks from the manufacturer. Kratom is known to have mild side effects – like nausea, vomiting, and constipation – at high doses, it has also been reported to cause seizures, addiction, and even death from overdose.
    • False marketing – refers to dishonest marketing practices such as a failure to provide adequate and truthful information, labeling or warnings. Again, this is relevant in the case of kratom since the substance is sometimes promoted as an aid for overcoming opioid addiction yet, as noted by the FDA, there is “no reliable evidence to support the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use disorder”.

    Individuals who have suffered injuries related to dangerous and undisclosed side effects of kratom may, therefore, have ample legal basis to file a personal injury claim against a kratom manufacturer. In addition, families of those who died as a result of an unintentional kratom overdose may be able to pursue compensation with a wrongful death claim. In order to obtain more information on their litigation options and possibilities, affected individuals should contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling drug-related injury claims.

     

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