Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Davey v. Lucovitaal et al: Fired aircraft mechanic claims CBD companies sold impure products

New York Southern District Court 
Judge: Vincent L Briccetti
Case #: 7:20-cv-05726
Nature of Suit 370 Torts - Personal Property - Other Fraud
Cause 18:1961 Racketeering (RICO) Act
Case Filed: Jul 23, 2020
Re-opened: Nov 25, 2020
Terminated: Nov 23, 2020

An aircraft mechanic who was fired for testing positive for THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, is suing distributors of cannabinoid capsules for allegedly misrepresenting their products as THC-free.

Jon-Michael Davey of Nyack is demanding compensation from Dutch companies Lucovitaal and PK Benelux BV, in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, White Plains.

“Due to the combined misrepresentations and misconduct of the defendants,” Davey claims, he “lost his good employment and livelihood.”

As an aircraft maintenance technician licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, Davey was subject to random drug tests.

The cannabinoid component of cannabis – CBD – is similar to THC but does not cause the cannabis high, and several states have enacted medical marijuana laws that allow use of CBD to treat pain, inflammation, anxiety and other conditions.

Last year, Davey developed pain in his hands and elbows and was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. He said he researched the use of pure CBD, used it and did not fail a drug test.

Davey claims that Lucavitaal and PK Benelux advertise and label their CBD products as pure, leading him to believe that he could use them and pass a drug test.

In October 2019, he ordered CBD capsules from their website.

He passed a random drug test the following month, according to the complaint. In February he ordered another batch. On May 7, he was tested again.

He claims he had not smoked marijuana or used any marijuana products for fear of losing his job.

A week later, the medical review officer for his employer, Mountain Aviation, told him he had tested positive for THC.

The news so rattled him, according to the complaint, that he was treated for a panic attack at a hospital emergency room.

On May 17, Mountain Aviation fired him.

Davey said that PK Benelux’s certificate of analysis shows a measurable amount of THC in the CBD capsules and that an independent lab found measurable levels in two samples of his capsules.

He claims that a June 19 hair follicle test, “as expected,” found no presence of marijuana or THC in his system for the previous 90 days.

He accuses Lucovitaal and PK Benelux of false advertising, for allegedly misrepresenting their products as safe and legal, as in compliance with New York and federal laws, as containing no THC, and as 100% pure CBD.

He also accuses them of racketeering, fraud, negligence and selling defective products. He is demanding unspecified damages.

The lawsuit was filed in July, dismissed by the court in October for failure to serve the defendants with the complaint, and reopened November 25th.

Manhattan attorney Jeffrey Benjamin, representing Davey, told U.S. District Judge Vincent Briccetti by letter November 25th that he and the defendants’ attorney, Alan R. Levy of Parsippany, New Jersey “have spoken and discussed early settlement.”

Levy did not immediately respond to a request for his clients’ side of the story.