Truck driver who says he was fired over CBD elixir will have case heard by Supreme Court

ByJohn Fritze, CNN, CNNWire
Monday, April 29, 2024
6abc Philadelphia 24/7 Live Stream
Action News, AccuWeather and Entertainment

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the case of a former commercial truck driver who was fired after a failed drug test he said was caused by a CBD elixir advertised to contain no THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

For 14 years, Douglas Horn worked as a trucker. After a serious accident, he came across an advertisement for a new "CBD-rich medicine" called "Dixie X" that was advertised as having no THC. Horn tried the product in 2012 and failed his drug test weeks later. Horn said he had never used marijuana.

He filed suit in the Western District of New York in 2015, alleging in part that Medical Marijuana, Inc., and other companies involved in the making and distribution of Dixie X, violated the Controlled Substances Act and engaged in mail and wire fraud.

The question before the high court involves whether Horn was permitted to file his lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which permits civil lawsuits in some circumstances and allows plaintiffs to seek triple damages.

ALSO SEE: Action News Investigation: Are you getting what's advertised in CBD products?

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals permitted the suit. Medical Marijuana, Inc., appealed to the Supreme Court in October, arguing in part that the RICO Act never contemplated "garden-variety products-liability" suits. Allowing Horn to sue, the company says, would vastly expand the number and type of "civil RICO" lawsuits.

President Richard Nixon signed the federal RICO Act in 1970 to give prosecutors more power to go after the heads of organized crime families. Several states have enacted their own versions of the law. In Georgia, a state version of the law is at the center of the Fulton County election subversion case against former President Donald Trump.

The federal law also permits private lawsuits by individuals who were "damaged" in "business or property" in certain circumstances. But some federal appeals courts have ruled that the civil suits cannot be filed based on personal injury claims.

(The-CNN-Wire & 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.)