SEPTEMBER 8, 2023 – Missouri Parents Awarded $745 Million in “Whip-It!” Wrongful Death Lawsuit

SEPTEMBER 8, 2023 – CLAYTON, MO – In a landmark ruling, a Missouri jury has awarded $745 million to the grieving parents of Marissa Politte, a 25-year-old radiologic technologist who was tragically killed by an SUV driver under the influence of nitrous oxide. The incident occurred on October 18, 2020, as Politte was leaving her workplace, the Ballwin Total Access Urgent Care in St. Louis County.

The driver, Trenton Geiger, had reportedly lost consciousness behind the wheel after inhaling nitrous oxide, commonly known as Whip-It! Police found discarded Whip-It! canisters that Geiger had purchased at a local smoke shop prior to the accident.

The two-week trial revolved around the question of whether United Brands Products Design Development, the distributor of Whip-It!, had knowingly conspired with the smoke shop to sell the product to customers who intended to misuse it as an inhalant.

whip it cannisters nitrous oxide illinois attorneyEvidence presented at the trial indicated that a significant portion of the company’s business model relied on selling the gas to smoke shops. This included emails between company staff and smoke shop workers and marketing campaigns targeted at young people in concert and party scenes.

The jury found United Brands 70% liable, the smoke shop 20% liable, and Geiger 10% liable. Despite this, United Brands’ attorneys argued that Geiger alone should bear responsibility for misusing the product and ignoring warning labels.

Johnny M. Simon, the attorney representing Politte’s parents, stated, “This is about more than money. My clients would give $750 million to have three minutes with their daughter again. This is about holding companies that are profiting off selling an addictive inhalant accountable.”

Geiger, now 23, pleaded guilty to second-degree involuntary manslaughter and other crimes in March. He was sentenced to two years in prison as part of a plea deal.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of misusing products and the responsibility of companies to ensure they are not enabling harmful behavior. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a similar incident, our team at Injured in Illinois can help you navigate the complex legal landscape. Visit our wrongful death page for more information and fill out our contact form for a free case evaluation.

Remember, you are not alone. We are here to help you seek justice and financial recovery.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized legal advice regarding your injury case, please consult with a qualified attorney.


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