The family of a Georgia teenager who died after smoking legal synthetic marijuana is suing the alleged manufacturer to put him out of business.
In March, 16-year-old Chase Burnett died after smoking the substance. State lawmakers acted quickly by banning synthetic marijuana in Georgia after Burnett's death, and named the law after him.
"He was a very well-respected little boy, he had a bright, bright future and his life was cut short due to a mistake," said Chase's father, David Burnett.
The Burnetts and attorney Kristofer Schilcher filed a wrongful death suit against Peyton Palaio, whom they believe manufactured the substance that killed Chase Burnett.
In a statement, Palaio's attorney, Andrew Koplan, said that while Chase Burnett's death was tragic, it wasn't his client's fault.
"The defendants express their sincere condolences to the Burnett family for their loss. However, Mojo Diamond Extreme 100X, which is the product claimed to have caused the tragedy by the plaintiffs, is not the defendant's product. Mojo Diamond Extreme is not sold, made, or distributed by these defendants. Any statements or allegations to the contrary are incorrect," Koplan said.
Even though Chase smoked the substance before lawmakers banned the chemicals, the Burnetts and Schilcher said Palaio's company, Ormerta Labs, continued to manufacture the substance long after the ban.
"We want to put him out of business number one so that other families don't have to suffer the tragedy that we have suffered daily," David Burnett said.
David Burnett said he hopes that when the legislature reconvenes next year, they will improve the existing law to ban synthetic drugs all together, instead of only their individual compounds.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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