The drug dealer who sold Mac Miller the fentanyl-laced pills that killed him has pled guilty, accepting a sentence of 17 years in prison. Stephen Walter, among two other men, knowingly sold fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pills that were later sold to Mac Miller. These pills were found to be over three times as strong as heroin.
Last month Stephen Walter, 46, agreed to plead guilty to one count of distribution of fentanyl, a federal offense, in order to avoid more serious charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and wrongful death.
The rapper was found unconscious in a “prayer position” in 2018 after taking these pills. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, and these legal proceedings demonstrate how and why someone might file a wrongful death claim in a case of a drug overdose.
Typically, a wrongful death claim can be filed when a loved one was killed in an accident or intentional act. However, people are beginning to file these claims when someone dies from a drug overdose.
In Mac Miller’s case, he was given opioids that he did not know were laced with fentanyl. Drugs cut with fentanyl have been blamed for the increase in overdose deaths in recent years, as this is often done to save money. Fentanyl makes the downers stronger, but it can also quickly lead to an overdose if the user is not aware of the fact the drug is laced, which many dealers hide from their buyers. This is the same drug that almost gave Demi Lovato a fatal overdose in 2018.
In addition to dishonest narcotics dealers, wrongful death claims for drug overdoses can also be filed against negligent doctors who overprescribe opioids.
When someone dies an unexpected death, their loved ones are often left reeling and in financial and emotional distress. That is why a personal injury attorney is necessary to file a wrongful death claim; the family deserves justice in the form of compensation.