Lawsuit filed for man who died after using synthetic marijuana


A form of synthetic marijuana sold as Mr. Smiley is blamed in the death of a Colorado Springs 19 year old in a new lawsuit. (Photo: Hillyard, Wahlberg, Kudla, Sloane & Woodruff)

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DENVER — The family of a 19-year-old who died after using the synthetic marijuana known as Spice has filed a lawsuit against the retail store that sold the product.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys representing the family of Nicholas Colbert, 19, who died in 2011 after using Spice he bought from a Kwik Shop in Colorado Springs.

“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,” said a spokesman for the law firm Hillyard, Wahlberg, Kudla, Sloane & Woodruff.

The suit claims the Kwik Shop store owners sold Spice in a bottle labeled “Mr. Smiley.” The package contained chemicals that were banned in Colorado.

After smoking the Spice, Colbert was found dead in his home.

“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 attorney David S. 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.”

The Colorado Health Department has blamed synthetic marijuana for an epidemic of illnesses reported along the Front Range.

Three deaths have been linked to synthetic marijuana and as many as 150 people have become sick.

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