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Sandra Bergen, 23, won her case against a former nursery-school friend who sold her the highly addictive drug, triggering a heart attack that left her in a coma for 11 days.
The ground-breaking suit exposes drug-dealers to legal jeopardy not just from the often-overburdened police but also from their customers, who can easily identify them.
“It’s bigger than me and it’s bigger than this guy,” Ms Bergen told Canada’s CTV.
“I think it’s a different way to hit drug dealers financially, and that is where it would really hurt them.
“I have gotten sober. I think that’s taking responsibility for my actions. I don’t think I should have to take responsibility for both of our actions. I think he should meet me half way. That’s what this lawsuit is about,” she said.
Calvina Fay, director of the Drug Free America Foundation, suggested the case could offer a new avenue to pursue drug dealers. “This obviously sets a precedent, but it also makes the public aware of this whole concept. It’s a way of holding drug dealers responsible for their actions,” she said.
Ms Bergen, from Biggar, Saskatchewan, in Canada alleges that her nursery-school classmate Clinton Davey got her addicted to crystal methamphetamine by offering her a free dose when she was only 13 years old.
She said she was drug-free for eight months before she met him at a friend’s house shortly before her 20th birthday in 2004.
“Prior to taking the drug, I was very nervous because I had to appear in a sexual assault trial where I was the victim. So I was having a bad day, you might say,” she said.
“Usually what he does is he offers you some for free because he knows you are addicted. Once you have some, he offers to sell you some.
“He told me to go over to his grandmother’s house. That’s where I went. We did drugs together there. Then I got him money for the drugs... We smoked some. Then I had symptoms of a heart attack.”