Several of the Curaleaf matters have settled, but only in one matter are the terms of settlement made public. I was lucky enough to obtain a copy of the settlement acceptance letter. The letter states:
Ayuba Agbonkhese is a US war veteran who was taken to the emergency room on September 8 after using Curaleaf’s tainted CBD drops. Ayuba accepts Curaleaf’s offer to allow judgment against Curaleaf in this case for $50,000.
Though Ayuba’s case is now over, he will continue his fight to hold Curaleaf accountable for its reckless behavior. Ayuba will continue to petition for increased government regulation of Curaleaf’s operations, and for increased penalties against drug manufacturers like Curaleaf that violate the law.
Ayuba has also committed to appearing as a witness at trial for the family of the late Earl Jacobe, to explain how using Curaleaf’s tainted CBD drops affected Ayuba’s health.
The Jacobe case is currently headed to jury trial.
More Products Liability…but not so fast.
Horn v. Med. Marijuana, Inc., 383 F. Supp. 3d 114 (W.D.N.Y. 2019)
Douglas J. Horn and Cindy Harp-Horn (“Plaintiffs”) brought suit against Medical Marijuana, Inc. (“MMI”), Dixie Elixirs and Edibles (“Dixie LLC”), Red Dice Holdings, LLC (“RDH”), and Dixie Botanicals (Collectively, “Defendants”) claiming that Defendants sold and marketed their hemp-based consumable oil, “Dixie X Dew Drops,” in a fraudulent, negligent, and unlawful manner. The suit included a count for products liability.
The product in question is “Dixie X Dew Drops,” a hemp-derived CBD oil (hereinafter “Dixie X”). Plaintiffs purchased a 500 mg bottle of Dixie X in September 2012. They had gathered information on the product from numerous sources in the hopes of relieving the pain and inflammation Douglas was experiencing as a result of a car accident. Plaintiffs claimed to have purchased Dixie X after consulting four sources indicating that Dixie X did not contain THC.
Douglas’s company, Enterprise Trucking, requested him to submit to a random drug test in October 2012. Enterprise informed Douglas that he had tested positive for THC a few days after the drug test. Cindy, who worked at Enterprise Trucking with Douglas, resigned because she feared working alone would be dangerous.
Plaintiffs sued under a strict product liability theory. However, the claim here fails. Plaintiffs could not produce evidence that they suffered cognizable injuries. As under New York Law, economic losses are not recoverable under a theory of strict liability. Since the only losses they had were economic damages, the appellate court affirm the dismissal of the strict liability count.
It’s All Greek to me…. RICO rears its head.
One World, LLC v. Onoufriadis, No. 20 Civ. 5802 (CM) (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 19, 2021)
One World, LLC, and Gabriel Chaleplis, the sole member of One World (“Plaintiffs”), brought this action against Nikolaos Onoufriadis, James M. Rodgers, Esq., Michael Karloutsos, and Canncore, Inc (“Defendants”). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants induced Chaleplis to invest €10,750,000 (approximately $12,000,000) of One World’s funds in Greek companies controlled by associates of Defendants, who then rerouted the funds back into themselves in the United States and used them for personal purposes. The First Amended Complaint includes thirteen counts brought under state common law and two counts arising under the Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)
One World was to provide funds for the companies to develop a medicinal cannabis business, including (i) obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, (ii) paying lobbying, governmental, and other service fees for obtaining the necessary licenses, (iii) purchasing land and cultivation equipment, and (iv) any other infrastructure and services required to operate a vertically integrated medicinal cannabis business. The complaint claims that through Conmave and BioProcann, Onoufriadis, Karloutsos, and Rodgers siphoned over $9,000,000 of One World’s funds for personal use, and tried to hide the transactions by issuing promissory notes promising to replay sums loaned by One World, which were guaranteed by the two Greek companies.
The court dismissed the case on Defendants’ motion for failing to state a course of action, but allowed the Plaintiffs’ to refile and the matter is still pending. We will see what happens.
LAWYER JOKE OF THE DAY
A man was sent to hell for his sins. As he was being led into the pits for an eternity of torment, he saw a lawyer passionately kissing a beautiful woman. “What a joke!” he said. “I have to roast in flames for all eternity and that lawyer gets to spend it with that beautiful woman.” Satan jabbed the man with his pitchfork and snarled, “Who are you to question that woman’s punishment?”
Jason Morgan Roberts is an Attorney and Legal Commentator in the Chicagoland Area. He can be reached at [email protected]. His commentary is not to be considered legal advice.