ST. LOUIS, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal judge ordered a Florida nutritional supplement company to pay more than $5.4 million to St. Louis Rams linebacker David Vobora who took a contaminated supplement that led to a four-game National Football League suspension in 2009, the player's legal team announced today.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Rodney W. Sippel of the Eastern District of Missouri ruled that Anti-Steroid Program, LLC, also known as S.W.A.T.S, intentionally misrepresented the supplement product in violation of state law. The judgment includes lost NFL compensation and marketing opportunities and $2 million for damage to Vobora's reputation.
Vobora said, "This monumental judgment cleared my family's name. We stuck together through threats, ridicule, and unfair stigma. Finally vindicated, I'm relieved that I can refocus on football and help the St. Louis Rams get back to the playoffs when the lockout ends. I'm grateful the Rams organization believed in my character through this trying process."
Vobora followed steps the NFL suggests before taking nutritional supplements. He called an NFL hotline set up for players with questions about supplements and consulted supplement experts. Before taking the S.W.A.T.S supplement "Ultimate Sports Spray," Vobora studied the company's website, which had endorsements from more than 50 NFL players and coaches. He later tested positive for the banned substance methyltestosterone, which was independently found in the S.W.A.T.S supplement.
R. Daniel Fleck, of The Spence Law Firm, LLC, of Jackson, Wyo., and Howard L. Jacobs, of the Law Offices of Howard L. Jacobs, of Westlake Village, Calif., represent Vobora. His agent is Marc Lillibridge, of National Sports Agency, of Chesterfield, Mo.
R. Daniel Fleck, of The Spence Law Firm, LLC, said, "David Vobora vowed to clear his name and he has resoundingly done so. This judgment is believed to be the largest of its kind for any athlete who has been suspended from his or her sport because of a contaminated nutritional supplement. This case should be a warning to all supplement companies to improve their manufacturing processes and ensure their products are steroid-free."
Howard L. Jacobs, of the Law Offices of Howard L. Jacobs, which is affiliated California counsel of The Spence Law Firm, said, "Ten years of litigation with supplement companies has shown us that this deregulated industry is rife with problems. Contaminated and mislabeled products endanger the careers and health of too many professional and elite athletes. Honest athletes like David Vobora pay a high price when supplement companies are not held accountable."
Taken by the Rams with the last pick of the 2008 draft, Vobora became the first "Mr. Irrelevant," as the last pick is commonly known, to become an NFL starter in 14 years. He was a Rams starter at strongside linebacker when the league suspended him in September 2009 and played in 14 games in 2010.
The case is "David Vobora v. S.W.A.T.S," Case No. 4:10-cv-00810 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division.
Media Contact: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, for The Spence Law Firm, LLC, 281.703.6000, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE The Spence Law Firm, LLC