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Drug 'Molly' Blamed for Deaths; Who's Liable?

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

The popular club drug "Molly" is being blamed for at least three deaths in Massachusetts and New York as summer comes to a close, leaving the liability for the fatalities open for debate.

Clubs and Boston and NYC have been host to "Molly" overdoses during both music festivals and concerts, and police say the uptick of fatal overdoses may be due to "a bad batch" of Molly being sold in the Northeast, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

Bad batch or no, relatives of the overdose victims may be gearing up to file wrongful death suits with several defendants in their sights.

What Is 'Molly'?

"Molly" is the colloquial term for the stimulant/hallucinogen MDMA, usually in its purer state, which is taken in pill form at raves, nightclubs, and concerts.

The drug has existed for decades, but it may be enjoying a resurgence due to its use in songs by popular artists like Miley Cyrus and Kanye West, reports the New York Daily News.

Who's Potentially Responsible?

In a wrongful death suit, parents of children who have died after taking "Molly" may choose to sue the person who gave them the drug -- typically a friend or a drug dealer.

MDMA is illegal to sell or possess, so it may be considered negligence per se to sell or distribute the drug, since laws prohibiting the substance are intended to prevent its unsafe use.

In addition, a criminal conviction for distributing "Molly" may lead to an open-and-shut civil case against a convicted "Molly" dealer, as there is a lower standard of proof for civil cases.

Victims' families may also attempt to go after the venue where the person died.

Clubs Can Face Liability

A Pennsylvania family did just that, suing a concert promoter for lack of security at a concert venue after their daughter died from an overdose of Ecstasy, a common street version of MDMA, reports ABC News.

Clubs may be held responsible for these deaths if they knew about the practice of patrons bringing in and using the potentially harmful drug and had no safeguards to prevent its illegal possession and use.

Boston's House of Blues, which was host to a recent fatal overdose from "Molly," stated Wednesday that it has been attempting to curb this sort of dangerous behavior, including employing "security workers [to] pat down patrons as they enter and search their bags," reports The Christian Science Monitor.

Ultimately, it may not be possible to keep "Molly" out, which means overdose deaths may continue.

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