Lawsuit filed in synthetic pot death of 16-year-old PTC boy

"Spice," a variant of synthetic marijuana. Photo from drugabuse.gov.

The parents of a Peachtree City teen who died two years ago after using a synthetic marijuana product have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against local convenience store operator Geo. H. Green Oil, Inc. and BP.

David and Yvette Burnett in the suit argue that their son Chase would not have ingested the deadly chemicals from the product labeled as potpourri if it had not been available for purchase at the store, located at 2597 Ga. Highway 54 West in Peachtree City, near Westpark.

The suit contends that Green Oil and BP should have been aware of the dangers of synthetic marijuana products being sold at convenience stores across the nation. The suit also claims that the companies “knowingly participated in the illegal drug market” by selling the synthetic marijuana, which was often labeled as potpourri.

Chase Burnett was 16 when he died March 4, 2012 at his parent’s home outside Peachtree City. A package of “Mojo Diamond Extreme 100x” that he had purchased at the Green Oil BP was found nearby, and that package tested positive for synthetic cannabinoids, the lawsuit claims.

A state medical examiner determined after an autopsy that the synthetic marijuana was the cause of Chase Burnett’s death, the suit noted.

Green Oil and BP should have known that synthetic cannabinoids “can cause severe injury, altered mental and emotional states, illness and death,” the suit states.

There was no purpose for the chemicals to be added to the potpourri except to create a high from smoking or inhaling the smoke, the suit claims.

The suit also claimed that the operator of the store, contracted by Green Oil, sold “large quantities” of the synthetic marijuana product to students from McIntosh High School and other minors.

After Chase Burnett’s death, Green Oil found out that six of its stores, including three in Fayette County, sold synthetic marijuana products, the suit alleges.

In addition to punitive damages, the lawsuit is seeking a ruling to dissolve Green Oil and BP on the theory that they were acting as part of a racketeering and corrupt organization.

The suit was filed last week in Fayette County Superior Court.