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Litigation Funding Blog

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Claims Edible Marijuana Overdose Caused Husband to Shoot His Wife

August 19, 2016

The potency of medical marijuana and its effects on the individual ingesting it are in question in this wrongful death lawsuit.

This lawsuit deals with an edible marijuana manufacturer in Colorado who sold 50-year-old Richard Kirk a ten-pack of chewy Karma Kandy Orange Ginger candies, each containing 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). According to law enforcement personnel, Mr. Kirk had eaten a fair number of those candies the night he shot and killed his wife.

On April 14, 2014, 44-year-old Kristine Kirk, Richard’s Kirk’s wife, called 911 and told the police her husband had taken some marijuana and was hallucinating. Several minutes later, gunshots were heard and the call was disconnected.

When police arrived at the Kirk residence, they discovered that the shooting had taken place in front of the couple’s three children. They were not harmed and were placed with relatives. Mr. Kirk was taken into custody and faces first-degree murder charges in the death of his wife.

The guardians of the Kirk’s three children filed what may well be a unique bellwether wrongful death lawsuit against the candy maker and the distributor. It alleges that the makers purposely and recklessly concealed the dosage instructions and did not include a warning on the packages that getting high from edibles could lead to hallucinations, paranoia and psychosis.

Mr. Kirk’s defense counsel plans to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of drug-induced insanity.

There is not a lot of information available on the side effects of ingesting recreational marijuana and that fact may open the door to hold the maker of such edible products as Karma Kandy Orange Ginger candies liable. What is relatively well known is that ingesting THC can be more unpredictable than smoking the drug because the effects are usually delayed and the adverse reactions can be quite severe.

The Kirk family would have had significant bills to pay for the funeral and burial of Ms. Kirk. Trying to pay those bills while also assuming responsibility for three children would be financially difficult. The fastest way to obtain cash during their pending claim may have been to apply for litigation funding.

The whole process takes five minutes or less and applicants may fill out the litigation funding intake form online or call for information. Once the forms have been processed, it is up to the plaintiffs to call their attorneys and advise them a request for information is coming from the lawsuit loan company. The cash is typically in plaintiffs’ hands within 48 hours or less. There is no risk for the plaintiffs and the litigation funding company only gets paid when the plaintiffs win their cases.

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