SALT LAKE CITY — The parents of a Park City teenager who died after taking a synthetic opioid known as "pink" are suing the companies that brought the drugs from China to Utah.
James and Deborah Seaver blame the now-defunct darknet marketplace AlphaBay and the estate of its deceased founder Alexandre Cazes, The Onion Router or Tor, free software that enables anonymous communication, and China Postal Express & Logistics Co. for the death of their 13-year-old son Grant.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court seeks at least $10 million in damages.
Grant Seaver died in September 2016 after overdosing on a deadly synthetic opioid made in China called U-47700, known on the street as "pink."
"Defendants knew that placing U-47700 into the stream of commerce created a high risk of death to G.S. and other minor children," the lawsuit says. Grant Seaver and his best friend, 13-year-old Ryan Ainsworth, died two days apart after ingesting the drug.
According to the lawsuit, AlphaBay was the largest darknet market selling controlled substances and illicit drugs, including those manufactured in China, from 2014 to July 2017. The website provided anonymity to its users engaged in illicit commerce by being accessible only through the Tor network, the suit says.
The Justice Department shut down AlphaBay in the United States, Canada and Thailand in July 2017. Cazes, a Canadian, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his jail cell in Thailand a week after his arrest.Comment on this story
In March, the Seavers filed a wrongful death suit in state court against the parents of four of their son's friends allegedly involved in his death, including a 17-year-old girl and Ryan Ainsworth's parents.
The Seavers allege their son's death was caused by negligent supervision and "abnormally dangerous activity" on the part of the other parents. The suit contends that in the weeks before Grant Seaver's death, the teen girl's parents found a box of Chinese drugs purchased by the three other teens that were shipped to the girl.
Prosecutors charged the girl with felony drug distribution. She has pleaded not guilty.