Parents Sue Over Son's Caffeine Powder Death

Logan Stiner overdosed days before graduation
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2015 9:36 AM CST
Parents Sue Over Son's Caffeine Powder Death
This Jan. 16, 2014, photo shows Keystone High School wrestler Logan Stiner during a match in Sheffield Village, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Steve Manheim, The Chronicle Telegram)

Prom king Logan Stiner died of a caffeine overdose just days before his high school graduation last May, and now his parents are suing. Kate and Dennis Stiner have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against companies that manufacture and distribute caffeine powder, including and Hard Rhino. "This is pharmaceutical-grade caffeine powder that is advertised, marketed, and delivered across the country, and just a small difference in dosage is the difference between life and death," their attorney, Brian Balser, tells WKYC. "We clearly believe they violated several" Ohio Food and Drug Act safety laws. Stiner, 18, had gone home for lunch on the day of his death; his brother found him on the floor. An autopsy showed more than 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his system, as much as 23 times the amount found in that of a typical coffee or soda drinker.

Stiner, a wrestler, had once told his mom he took some sort of "pre-workout" substance, and a bag of caffeine powder was found in his room. "He had a busy week and he thought it wouldn't hurt," his mom told lawmakers in December, according to the AP. Last month, KCTV5 bought a bag of the powder on eBay for $11 and noted that it was "uniquely labeled [with warnings] compared to other brands found." The seller explained to the station that he gets the powder from China and said, "We sell it with ample warning, and we provide a dosing spoon. I think a lot of people misuse it when they purchase it. There is no instruction on how to use it." The Stiners have been working to get the FDA to ban the powder, which is currently unregulated since it's considered a supplement; a petition they created has more than 6,000 signatures. (This mom blames energy drinks for her daughter's death.)

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