$11M Payout Ordered After OTC Supplement Kills Mother

Kristal Talavera, a mother of four, died in 2021 after ingesting a legal synthetic narcotic dubbed “Space Dust” as she made breakfast for her spouse on Father’s Day. 

The mother’s father, Biagio Vultaggio, the father of her youngest kid, discovered her face down in the kitchen of the family’s $640,000 house in Palm Beach, Florida. The nurse had her infant baby in her arms and an open bag of Space Dust, a synthetic substance derived from Kratom, on the floor next to her. 

Kratom is an opioid-like herb.

Her oldest son, Devin Filippelli, brought a wrongful death action against Kratom distributor Grow LLC, and a court ordered them to pay more than $11 million in damages.

Acute mitragynine poisoning was declared as the official cause of death for Talavera by the Palm Beach County coroner after she was transported to the hospital. The complaint claimed that large doses of mitragynine caused ‘opioid-like symptoms’ and respiratory failure.’ 

Filippelli, age 21, filed a November lawsuit against Grow LLC in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The case said that Talavera often bought Kratom items from the firms, despite her son’s warnings about the risks associated with Kratom use.

Grow LLC must pay her family $11,642,895 in damages, as U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks determined on July 27. Talavera’s estate received $4,642,895.70, Filippelli received $1,000,000, and her other three children received $2,000,000. 

The court said that the children of Ms. Talavera would never recover from their grief over their mother’s death, regardless of the amount of money awarded to them.

Benny Flores, Talavera’s ex-husband, said that the couple’s two young kids are also going through a tough time emotionally. Their 6-year-old has even asked “when his mother is coming back,” Flores said. 

The Food and Drug Administration has indicated that Kratom is neither ‘suitable for use as a dietary conventional supplement’ nor supplied as a prescription or over-the-counter medicine. 

Talavera was remembered as an “amazing” lady with a “big heart” in a GoFundMe campaign that brought in $7,700 for her burial in 2021.