Synthetic Pot Distributor Sued for Wrongful Death

Last year, a 16 year old Georgia boy, a high school sophomore, named Chase Burnett died when he drowned in a hot tub. The synthetic marijuana product called “Mojo Diamond Extreme 100X Potpourri” was found next to the hot tub where he died. His family sued the distributor of the synthetic drug for wrongful death, in what was believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind. Our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys have been following this story and others like it.


The Burnett lawsuit is in Cobb County court and is against 25 year old Peyton Palaio, or an unnamed associate from the companies Lunar Labs and WG Distribution, who the family claim sold the synthetic drug to the convenience store where Chase bought it on Peachtree Street. In connection with Chase’s death, 12 people were arrested and indicted on racketeering charges in Louisiana, where the synthetic drug that caused Chase’s death is thought to have originated. The Burnett’s lawyers shared information from their wrongful death lawsuit with the authorities, which helped lead to these arrests. Chase’s father, David Burnett, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he will not rest until “everyone associated with manufacturing and distributing the drug that killed [our] son are held accountable.”

The synthetic, which is generally known as K2 or Spice, is made when plant material is sprayed with chemicals that try to replicate THC, which is the active ingredient in pot. The Georgia State Board of Pharmacy issued a ruling classifying the synthetic drugs as Schedule 1 substances and a law gives police authority to take these substances out of stores, but still does not go so far as to include criminal prosecution. And these synthetic drugs are hard to pin down because crafty manufacturers keep changing the chemicals involved to avoid the laws.

And it is not only happening in our state. A recent news story discussed a similar case in Colorado. A 19 year old, Nicholas Colbert, died after smoking a variety of the synthetic, this one was called “Mr. Smiley”. Nicholas also bought it from a convenience store. And now his mother is suing the Colorado Springs convenience store that sold the drug to her son. Her lawsuit alleges that the Kwik Shop in Colorado Springs sold the synthetic drug to her son several times, and that the chemicals in Mr. Smiley were already banned in Colorado.

Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyers

Our wrongful death attorneys will be watching to see how these cases continue, especially the Burnett’s wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia, which could pave the way for future action against those that make and market these synthetic drugs. If a loved one has died due to the negligence of another, including a defective product, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter may be able to help get the compensation needed and deserved. To discuss your potential case, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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