Teen’s death from synthetic marijuana results in first Colorado lawsuit

A Denver-based law firm has filed the first wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado against a retail store for selling synthetic marijuana known as “Spice.”Attorney David S. Woodruff of Hillyard, Wahlberg, Kudla, Sloane & Woodruff, his law firm filed in Denver District Court last week on behalf of Stephane Colbert, mother of Nicholas A. Colbert, who died at age 19 after using Spice he had purchased from a Kwik Stop convenience store in Colorado Springs in September 2011.

The suit is an effort to stop convenience stores, gas stations, and other retail outlets from selling deadly Spice and other synthetic drugs, which contain harmful, and often illegal, chemicals, Woodruff said.
The Kwik Stop at 1125 S. Chelton Road in Colorado Springs is owned by Family Market, L.L.C. The suit claims Kwik Stop store owners sold Spice to the young Colbert in a bottle labeled “Mr. Smiley,” which contained chemicals that had been banned and were illegal in Colorado. The bottle did not identify the identity of the manufacturer of the drug, did not identify that it contained banned and highly dangerous chemicals, and did not warn of the dangers of smoking or consuming the drug, as required by federal and state laws, Woodruff said. Later that same evening, after smoking the Spice, the teenager was found dead.

“Nicholas Colbert’s life was ended by a dangerous drug sold over the counter at a convenience store, and we want to stop this from occurring again,” said Woodruff, who specializes in medical malpractice and other complex personal injury cases. “With this lawsuit, Nick Colbert’s mother is mounting a courageous battle to prevent this type of disaster from happening to other children in Colorado and across the nation. And the first step is to stop retail stores from profiting from selling these dangerous drugs to kids.”

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