STOCKTON, CA - A 35-year-old Stockton man, who said he nearly died after inhaling nitrous oxide steadily in 2010, is now suing three smoke shops that sold him that product.
Jason Starn said he should have been warned using the gas was dangerous.
"Had I known the side effects that came from it (nitrous oxide), I wouldn't have been using them," said Starn, who claims to be in so much pain he has trouble standing.
Starn said a doctor told him his spinal cord damage was a result of his recreational use of the chemical compound that's commonly known as laughing gas. Starn bought and used tiny canisters that contain the gas and are used to turn cream into whipped cream.
"The pain spreads up through the back and makes my legs weak. I was up all night in pain last night," said Starn.
The three shops being sued are Smoke Island in Folsom, Still Smokin' in Sacramento County, and No Limit Smoke Shop in Modesto. Staff at all three shops declined to comment on the lawsuit.
In a videotaped interview at his attorney's office, Starn regretted his use of the product, and he said his lawsuit is an attempt to warn others.
"They (nitrous oxide canisters) may be legal, and they may be for recreation, but they're death in a can. Please don't do it. It's not worth it. There are better ways to have a good time," he said.