TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The family of a woman who died from kratom was awarded $11 million on Wednesday for the wrongful death, according to NBC affiliate WPTV.
Krystal Talavera, 39, died on June 20, 2021. Talavera was a mother of four who lived in Boynton Beach.
West Palm Beach’s Circuit Judge Donald Middlebrooks issued the final default judgment against Grow, LLC and the owner of The Kratom Distro, Sean Michael Harder, for the mother’s death.
The family received just over $4.6 million for Talavera’s estate, $1 million for her surviving son Devin Filippelli and $2 million for her other three children.
Talavera’s ex-husband Benny Flores shared the pain their two young sons are going through, specifically the six-year-old who keeps asking when his mom is coming back, the news station reported.
Her recent partner, Biaggio Vultaggio, the dad to the youngest son, recalled the moment he found Talavera on the floor in the living room as their 14-month-old played next to her.
The mother was transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
WPTV reported that Grow LLC was allegedly negligent in selling its kratom products,
“This $11 million dollar judgment should be a wakeup call to the kratom industry about this dangerous and unregulated substance,” Talavera’s lawyer Tamara Williams said in a news release. “There are families across the country who know firsthand that kratom is addictive and can be deadly.”
Kratom is an herbal substance often used to alleviate pain and reduce symptoms of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Kratom is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA tested the substance in 2019, discovering high levels of lead and nickel which could lead to heavy metal poisoning if taken long-term.