Summit Co. court hears evidence in lawsuit against Chinese drug company for role in fentanyl deaths

James Rauh filed suit against China drug supplier, Zheng, for its role in the death of his son from illicit fentanyl poisoning
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 8:22 PM EST
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) -A local family is taking on China, head-on.

The Rauh family is seeking justice. To get that, they are going after a China-based drug supplier, Zheng.

They say drug supplier Zheng shipped their son Tom the drugs that ultimately cost him his life.

The 37-year-old died from an overdose back in 2015.

Like any parent, they’re demanding accountability for their son’s death.

An Ohio judge heard evidence to determine awards for damages in the case Monday in Akron.

In court, Tom’s heartbroken mother took the stand to testify about her son’s death.

“The reminder is every day and every day know that their mothers are going through what I’m going through. It breaks my heart over and over again, every day, she said.”

His family said he had been addicted to prescription opioids following a rollerblading accident. and later began using heroin.

In an effort to get the drug off the streets, James Rauh started the Akron-based non-profit Families Against Fentanyl in 2018.

The family also filed a filed suit against Zheng, who they believe played a role in Tom’s death.

The lawsuit comes as federal authorities continue to increase pressure on companies like Zheng shipping drugs into the U.S.

James Rauh tells 19 News they expect a decision within the next week and that this case is not about the money but more so what he sees as a national security crisis. The family has asked the court to award them the maximum in damages for Tom’s death which could be anywhere from $100 Million dollars to $120 Million.