Earlier last month in Middleton, Connecticut, a Maryland student and two others at Wesleyan University were charged with the distribution of “Molly,” a popular party drug. According to one local Maryland news source, those who purchased and used the drugs became seriously ill. In fact, at the time of the article’s publication, two of the students who purchased pills from the defendant were still hospitalized.
Evidently, the bad drugs caused serious reactions in 11 students on Wesleyan’s campus. All of those injured by the dangerous drugs were attending a “rave” party where they took the drugs. One of the two who were most seriously injured was admitted to the hospital with no vital signs. He was only revived after emergency personnel arrived and performed six defibrillator shocks and numerous chest compressions.
The Maryland student, and his three counterparts, are all facing criminal charges for the distribution of the drugs. The police chief overseeing the investigation explained to reporters that “this particular batch may have had a mixture of several kinds of designer drug chemicals, making the health risks unpredictable and treatment to combat the effects complex and problematic.”
Civil Liability for Illicit Drugs
As noted above, the students engaged in the alleged sale of “Molly” are facing criminal charges. However, they may also be facing civil charges from the buyers of the bad drugs as well.
Under federal law, which is applicable in Maryland and Washington, DC, someone who sells dangerous and illegal drugs may be sued in a civil court by a person who bought the illegal drugs and was injured as a result. This pertains even to those who took the drugs knowing that they were illegal, but were unaware that the specific drugs in question were especially dangerous for one reason or another (i.e., the drugs were adulterated with a toxic ingredient).
Those who took the drug knowing that it was illegal, however, are not entitled to non-economic damages, such as compensation for their pain and suffering. However, injured parties who ingested the illegal drug unknowingly are entitled to non-economic as well as economic damages.
The idea behind this policy is that the government does not want to reward drug dealers by preventing those harmed from seeking compensation. In these cases, had the illegal drugs been any other legal substance the seller would be able to be held liable for marketing or selling a dangerous substance under the theory of product liability. By insulating a drug dealer from this liability, the law would essentially be rewarding the sale of illegal drugs.
Have You Been Injured After Ingesting Dangerous and Illegal Drugs?
If you have recently been seriously injured because you ingested illicit drugs, you may be able to hold the person who sold you the drugs liable in a court of law. Depending on the surrounding circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and in some cases compensation for any pain and suffering endured due to the drugs. To learn more, contact a dedicated Washington DC personal injury attorney at 410-654-3600 to set up a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Peanut Plant Responsible for Multiple Deaths Due to Salmonella Contamination, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2014
Chinatown Accident Kills One and Injures Several Others in Northwest DC, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, February 24, 2015
One Dead, Dozens Injured in DC Metro Smoke Incident, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2015