Richard Main claims he was permanently disabled by drinking paclobutrazol at a Nov. 21, 2014 promotional even “arranged, promoted, funded and held by defendants,” where they paid him $50 to drink the Crystal Cocktail to show that it was safe for human consumption.
Main claims in the Superior Court lawsuit that his employer, Constantly Growing, “instructed” him to go to the defendants’ promotion in Placerville, though he did not sue his own company.
He claims that lead defendants CX Hydroponics and Biofloral put on the event, where he was paid $50 to take a shot of their new product, the Crystal Cocktail. “Within minutes,” Main says, he “began sweating profusely and complained of not feeling well.”
Main claims the defendants watched him become “physically distressed,” and then leave the sales promotion. He says that within two hours he went into cardiac arrest, which gave him “anoxic brain injury which will leave him permanently unable to work and care for himself.”
Main claims the Crystal Cocktail contained paclobutrazol as its active ingredient, and that the defendants knew or should have known it was unsafe for human consumption.
Paclobutrazol has been linked to cancer and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation says the active ingredient causes liver damage and developmental damage to rodents. Paclobutrazol is used as a plant growth regulator and is used in many plant nutrient products that are used to fertilize marijuana.
Manufacturers of hydroponic nutrient solutions are not required to list all of the ingredients in their products and it can be difficult to know exactly what is in the products. Main claim the defendants did not reveal the presence of the harmful chemical and baited him into trying the product with food and money.
In fact, defendant Brennan Williams, who worked for the defendants, told Main it was “an organic product safe for human consumption,” according to the complaint.
He claims that Williams offered the Crystal Cocktail and $50 to anyone who would take a shot of it at the party.
Named as defendants are CX Hydroponics and CX Horticulture, both of Australia; Biofloral USA, a Las Vegas-based distributor; Lab More Enterprises of Diamond Springs, Calif., also a distributor; Brennan Williams, CX and/or Biofloral’s California sales manager; and Mike Briggs, owner-operator of CX Horticulture.
None of the parties could be reached for comment Thursday.
Main seeks punitive damages for negligence and product liability.
He is represented by Clifford Carter with Carter Wolden Curtis.
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