Can Retailers Be Held Liable for Selling Synthetic Drugs?

Synthetic drug use has grown at an alarming rate in recent years, especially among teens and young adults. In fact, in the period from 2010 to 2011, the number of people in Illinois hospitalized from taking synthetic drugs skyrocketed from 65 to 604, according to the Illinois Poison Center.

To combat the increasing number of injuries and fatalities caused by synthetic drugs, several states and the federal government have banned the sale of synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs have been prohibited by federal law since July 2012, but prior to the ban, several retailers sold synthetic drugs, such amphetamine-type substances marketed as “bath salts” and synthetic marijuana products similar to “Avalanche” that were labeled as incense.

While the state and federal bans seem to be working, with reported cases in Illinois dropping to 165 in 2012, some stores continue to sell synthetic drugs by keeping the products out of view or selling the products online – and victims are seeking to hold those retailers responsible for their actions.

As this article explains, a New York mother has filed a lawsuit against the store that allegedly sold her son the synthetic drug he used before his death. Teresa Woolson is seeking $5 million from the store, its owner, and unnamed manufacturers and distributors of the synthetic drug “Avalanche.” And earlier this year a New York store owner was held responsible for selling illegal synthetic drugs. New York Supreme Court Justice James McClusky held John Tebbetts III, the owner of Tebb’s Head Shops, responsible for selling illegal synthetic drugs and deceptively labeled drug products to consumers.

When retailers illegally, intentionally, or negligently cause injuries or death, they can and should be held liable for their actions. The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Cogan and Power, P.C. are dedicated to protecting the rights of personal injury victims. We seek to hold responsible parties liable for their misconduct by pursuing full and fair financial recovery for our clients.

Victims of personal injury accidents may be entitled to compensatory damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages (past and future)
  • Property damages
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of normal life

We are proud to have recovered more than $600 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of people who have suffered injury or loss because of someone else’s negligence or misconduct.

We advocate for injured adults and children, as well as the family members of deceased victims, throughout Illinois. If you have been injured or a loved one died as a result of synthetic drugs, contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago personal injury attorneys.