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Wrongful death suit in Illinois stems from synthetic drug sales

In Aurora, Illinois, a mother has lost a son. Her son's death has led to the creation of a nonprofit organization as well as a lawsuit that puts the responsibility of the loss of her son on the shoulders of a tobacco shop in Aurora. According to the wrongful death suit, he had smoked a synthetic cannabis during the day he died.

In June, the woman's 19-year-old son had purchased a product called iAroma Hypnotic from a tobacco shop known as the Cigar Box. It had recently moved to a new location and according to the suit, was not allowed to sell tobacco products at the time because it was not properly licensed. The shop had been selling iAroma Hypnotic, which is a synthetic drug smoked by individuals who believe they are going to get a high similar to marijuana. According to the lawsuit, the product was "intentionally mislabeled" as potpourri. Many shops selling similar products have sold potpourri and said they believe their customers will be using it in such a way, despite the common misuse as a substance to be smoked.

The synthetic drug was smoked by the woman's son on the day that he purchased it. He would later call his brother and say that he was having a hard time after smoking the product. According to reports, he was experiencing symptoms similar to an anxiety attack. Synthetic cannabinoids are more potent than marijuana and can cause delusions, paranoia, cardiac issues and panic attacks, the lawsuit states.

While driving that day, he ran a stop sign and hit a wall with his vehicle. The automobile was then airborne and finally settled after colliding with a home. The 19-year-old later died because of injuries received during this accident.

His mother believes he lost his life because of the product that was sold to him at the tobacco shop. The city has since banned the sale of these products in hopes to avoid another tragic loss of life. In her lawsuit, she is hoping to receive $50,000 in damages from the owner of the tobacco shop which has been closed down.

Source: Daily Herald, "Aurora mom sues tobacco shop over teen's death," Josh Stockinger, Nov. 2, 2011

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