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Lawsuit Filed Over Herbal Tea Death

A San Francisco family experienced a recent tragedy. A 56-year-old woman, Yu-Ping Xie, lost her life after consuming some tea purchased from a local tea shop. Xie purchased some specialty herbal tea from the Sun Wing Wo Trading Company in February. Herbal teas and remedies are popular amongst individuals who seek alternative, at home, remedies to any potential ailments. In addition, herbal teas are often sought out for their potential health benefits.

Xie consumed some of the herbal tea, and later became sick. She was admitted to the hospital in February and had remained there ever since, where she passed away from organ failure, abnormal heart rhythms, and other complications. When doctors informed the family that there was no possible further treatment or potential cures, the family chose to “let her go comfortably” in lieu of prolonging her suffering. Xie was a healthy woman prior to the incident, and her death struck the family by

The family has since filed a lawsuit against the Sun Wing Wo Trading Company after the cause of Xie’s health problems were uncovered. The tea leaves that were purchased contained a plant-based toxin known as Aconite. Aconite can be a lethal poison, even in smaller doses, and there currently exists no antidote for it. Anocite is often known by several other names, including monkshood, wolfsbane, helmet flower, and more. Anocite in its raw form of flowers, leaves, and roots, is usually toxic but can be used after a significant processing period to treat pain, bruises, and other conditions. As part of the lawsuit, the family also seeks better regulatory guidelines for the industry. In response to the incident, the store has removed any of the related products from its shelves, however, they have declined to comment on anything regarding the incident, lawsuit, or investigation.

Raw Anocite causes several complications when a person ingests it. Symptoms of Anocite poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness in limbs, chest pain, heart abnormalities, tingling in the face, mouth or limbs, and possible paralysis. Symptoms can begin within a few minutes, but can also take up to a few hours, depending on how much of the poisonous plant is consumed.

The San Francisco Health Department has encouraged individuals who have purchased tea to stop consumption. In addition, they have also urged individuals who consumed the tea and began to experience symptoms of Anocite poisoning to seek immediate emergency care. The San Francisco Health Department is also working with investigators to seek out the initial source of the toxin.

While details surrounding the lawsuit have not yet been announced publicly, beyond the filing, it is likely that the lawsuit will attempt to operate upon the doctrine of product liability when making claims. If you or a loved one has been injured, as a result of a faulty product or other negligent act, contact the legal professionals at Gilman and Bedigian today.

About the Author

Charles GilmanCharles Gilman
Charles Gilman

As managing partner and co-founder of Gilman & Bedigian, it is my mission to help our clients recover and get their lives back on track. I strongly believe that every person who is injured by a wrongful act deserves compensation, and I will do my utmost to bring recompense to those who need and deserve it.


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