Florida Family Awarded Millions in Kratom Wrongful Death Lawsuit
After two years of litigation in Florida’s court systems, the family of 39-year-old Krystal Talavera has been awarded $11.6 million as the result of a wrongful death lawsuit against a local manufacturer & distributor of kratom – a popular over-the-counter herbal supplement that purportedly provides temporary pain relief for common ailments.
According to case documents, it was Sunday, June 20, 2021, when 39-year-old West Palm Beach resident Krystal Talavera was preparing a Father’s Day breakfast in her home when she suddenly collapsed. Palm Beach County emergency response teams were dispatched to the house after Talavera’s partner discovered the mother of four unconscious on the floor, and despite their best efforts at the hospital, she sadly passed away later that day.
Upon further review by the coroner at the Palm Beach Medical Examiner’s Office, it was determined that Krystal Talavera died from “acute mitragynine intoxication.” Mitragynine is a key component of kratom, and authorities have since indicated that an open packet of this substance was found next to the victim’s hot cup of coffee on the day of her death.
An excerpt from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website states that: “Kratom is often used to self-treat conditions such as pain, coughing, diarrhea, anxiety and depression, opioid use disorder, and opioid withdrawal.” Since kratom is not approved by the FDA, it could also contain toxic heavy metals, dangerous bacteria, and other adverse chemicals.
It is unclear whether the victim used kratom on a regular basis or if it was just a one-time event with tragic results.
In this specific wrongful death lawsuit, Palm Beach County Judge Donald Middlebrooks ruled against the owner and operator of The Kratom Distro – Sean Michael Harder – and Grow, LLC, for their responsibility in the victim’s death. The $11.6 million settlement will be divided between Talavera’s estate and her surviving children.
“This judgment should be a wakeup call to the kratom industry about this dangerous and unregulated substance,” said the family’s attorney in a statement to the media.
On July 1, 2023, a new Florida law went into effect regarding kratom, which now requires purchasers to be over 21 years of age.
Since 1977, Florida wrongful death lawyer James O. Cunningham has compassionately represented families who have lost a loved one due to a defective or dangerous product. To schedule a free 30-minute case evaluation, please contact us today at (407) 425-2000.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.