The parents of a California teenager who died after inhaling an aerosol dust remover have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against 3M Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for selling the substance.
The suit says both companies knew 3M Dust Remover was popular among teenage inhalant abusers, but continued selling it for years without adequate warnings or other deterrents.
When inhaled, dust remover produces a euphoric and cheap “high.”. The suit states other manufacturers of similar products use a “bitteragent” to prevent inhalant abuse. 3M introduced a bitteragent to the product in March.
The practice of inhaling dust remover products, known as “dusting” has been widely reported by the U.S. media since at least 1999 and generated one national lawsuit, the complaint said. Kasey Jo Easley, 19, died days after becoming intoxicated from “huffing” 3M Dust Remover purchased from a Wal-Mart store and falling unconscious in a hot tub in November 2006 at a party in California.
The suit accuses Wal-Mart and 3M of wrongful death, product liability and negligence. Easley’s family is seeking punitive damages.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Wrongful Death.