Parents sue darknet supplier over “pink” death
SALT LAKE CITY — The parents of a Utah teen who died after taking “pink,” a synthetic and extremely potent opioid, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
James and Deborah Seaver’s suit seeks at least $10 million in damages from a darknet marketplace known as AlphaBay, the estate of its late founder, China Postal Express & Logistics Co., and the free software that many people use to keep their identities anonymous, Tor.
13-year-old Grant Seaver died in September 2016 in what was later identified as an overdose of the drug known as “pink” or U-47700. His friend, Ryan Ainsworth, also 13, died just two days later.
The synthetic opioid was made in China and shipped to users in the U.S. who ordered it on the darknet.
The lawsuit claims AlphaBay sold illegal drugs to users by promising them anonymity through the Tor network, which they had to use to access the site. It also argues U-47700, if manufactured to its intended specifications, can be seven-and-a-half times more potent than morphine.
“Defendants knew or should have known that persons such as Plaintiffs and G.S. who consumed or ingested U-47700 were at high risk of death from even small amounts of the product,” the lawsuit reads, “but they failed to label or warn such persons of these high risks of death.”
AlphaBay was founded by Alexander Cazes, a Canadian citizen, who died from suicide in July 2017, shortly after the Justice Department shut down the company and he was arrested in Thailand.
The Seavers filed a different wrongful death lawsuit earlier this year against the parents of some of Grant’s friends, including Ryan Ainsworth. That suit claimed a 17-year-old girl’s parents found Chinese drugs in her possession, ordered by the teens and shipped to her, just weeks before Grant and Ryan died. The girl pleaded not guilty to felony drug distribution.
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