ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The manufacturer and distributors of a dietary supplement marketed as Epio-Plex agreed to pay a 29-year old Virginia man settlements totaling $4,225,000 to resolve a lawsuit that he filed in Orange County, California, Superior Court seeking damages for injuries that he suffered as a result of taking the product in 2009. The settlement is thought to be one of the largest personal injury settlements to date involving the controversial dietary supplement industry.
Lawyers for Daniel Lineberger say their client was a healthy 24-year-old with a long life in front of him when he suddenly developed acute liver and kidney failure in 2009 and had to undergo emergency liver and kidney transplant surgery. A liver test showed evidence of drug toxicity but doctors could not immediately pinpoint a specific cause. But, they suspected that one or more dietary supplements that Daniel had purchased from Max Muscle, a franchised supplement store located in Rancho Cucamonga, California, might have caused the toxicity. Daniel later learned that one of those products, Epio-Plex, had been recalled after the FDA suspected it contained unlabeled synthetic steroids, which are known to cause liver damage.
Daniel retained lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm in Irvine, California, which specializes in representing people injured by defective drugs and diet supplements. The Senators Firm had the Epio-Plex tested and determined that it contained at least two "designer steroids," both of which are now banned by the federal government. "Anabolic steroids are a well known cause of acute liver failure and other serious side effects but they are widely available on the Internet and in some diet supplement stores," said Ronald Labriola, a partner at The Senators Firm. Labriola noted that Lineberger and most consumers are unaware that many weight loss and bodybuilding supplements are tainted with illegal drugs. "Dan was assured that the product he purchased was legal, safe, and effective, when clearly it was not," said Labriola.
Many victims of dangerous diet supplements are unable to obtain legal compensation, said Thomas Moore, managing partner of The Senators Firm. "Far too often, supplement makers are fly-by-night operations without insurance or sufficient assets to allow for any recovery by those injured by these products," said Moore, who cautioned that Americans will continue to be injured or killed by dangerous supplements until Congress acts to pass adequate safety regulations.
[Case information: Lineberger v. Max Muscle Marketing Inc., et. al., Orange County Superior Court No. 30-2010-00423797-CU-PL-CXC]
SOURCE The Senators Law Firm, LLP