Online cannabis advertising platform Weedmaps and a Southern California vape shop have been targeted with a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court by a mother who claims both are to blame in the shooting death of her son.
According to Law360, the lawsuit alleges that both companies are complicit in the death of 19-year-old William Benjamin Harris IV, who was fatally shot in June 2019 by cannabis delivery worker David Christopher Gregorich.
Gregorich, an employee at Altadena vape shop Universal Stop, has been charged with several crimes in the case, including murder, and has pleaded not guilty.
Gregorich’s attorney told Law360 the employee opened fire because he thought he was being robbed when Harris approached his car.
A spokesperson for Irvine-based Weedmaps declined to comment about the case, which was filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County.
Both Weedmaps and Universal Stop were negligent in the situation, the civil suit alleges, and therefore bear some responsibility for the death.
The delivery order was placed through Weedmaps’ website, according to the suit, which faults Universal Stop and Weedmaps for failing to properly train its employees – specifically regarding the use of weapons – and for failing to verify the age of Harris, who was underage, given that the legal age for adult-use marijuana purchases is 21.
The suit further claims that both Weedmaps and Universal Stop “had made previous deliveries, which had gone wrong” and that Gregorich and other Universal Stop delivery drivers “were using weapons in the course of their employment, while making deliveries of marijuana.”
Harris’ mother, Photon Muur, is suing both companies as well as Universal Stop’s owner, Movses Movsisyan, and Weedmaps’ three parent companies: Ghost Management Group, WM Holding Co. and Weedmaps Media.