CORAL GABLES, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2014) – Coral Gables-based law firmColson Hicks Eidson filed a complaint in Federal Court in Miami, Fla. today on behalf of Plaintiff Eric Rizzo against Defendants USPlabs, LLC and Vitamin Shoppe Industries, Inc.
According to the complaint, Rizzo suffered injuries, including acute, non-viral hepatitis and other damage to his liver as a result of consuming OxyElite Pro tablets and powders, a dietary supplement marketed to increase muscle mass and weight loss. Rizzo, 40, has been diagnosed with liver toxicity and permanent liver damage which has caused serious physical impairment. He suffers from jaundice and has been unable to work or do anything requiring exertion as a result.
“The plaintiff had no idea this product was dangerous. He and other consumers were relying on the manufacturer and marketers of the product to furnish a suitable, safe product,” said Mike Eidson, counsel for Rizzo. “The plaintiff suffered permanent damage sustained to his liver and through this lawsuit we seek to hold the defendants accountable for the pain and suffering they have caused as a result of this adulterated and defective product and their negligent actions.”
“We urge consumers not to buy the product if it has not been removed from the market and to immediately discard the product if it has been purchased in the past,” Eidson added.
In October 2013, the Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to the Dallas-based manufacturer, USPlabs, LLC, noting that OxyElite Pro and another dietary supplement had been adulterated because they contained aegeline, a “new” dietary ingredient that lacks a history of use or other evidence of safety. Aegeline was used as a substitute for dimethylamylamine (DMAA), a stimulant used by USPlabs in an earlier formation of its OxyElite Pro products that can cause heart attacks, seizures, psychiatric disorders and death. The FDA undertook administrative actions that eventually resulted in USPlabs ceasing to manufacture and destroy its products containing DMAA. The company later reformulated its products substituting DMAA with aegeline.
In November 2013, the Food and Drug Administration ordered USPlabs, LLC, to recall the products after a number of cases of acute liver failure and hepatitis linked to OxyElite Pro products were reported in Hawaii and a number of other states, including one death and one patient requiring a liver transplant and others awaiting liver transplants.
Rizzo, a South Florida resident, purchased the supplements from The Vitamin Shoppe retail locations, a specialty retailer, in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in or around July 2013 and November 2013.
The Complaint asserts negligence and strict liability, including failure to exercise reasonable care and failure to warn consumers of the potential risk of injury associated with the supplement.
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About Colson Hicks Eidson:
The Law Firm of Colson Hicks Eidson is a trial firm with more than 40 years of experience handling local, national and international litigation. Partners at the firm have had the distinction of holding the following offices: President of the 60,000-member American Association for Justice; President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; President of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers; President of the Dade County Bar Association; President of the Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers; United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Chairman of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission. For more information, call 305.476.7400.