Due to a distinct lack of involvement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), several dietary supplement manufacturers have demonstrated a propensity for manipulation and adulteration for their products. As seen recently in numerous lawsuits, companies have substituted unapproved ingredients into their products and labeled them as dietary supplements, as to avoid strict FDA regulations. Subsequently, skepticism of dietary supplement manufacturers remains high while companies continue to receive criticism for the influx of fraudulent distribution and manufacturing practices.
The implementation of fraudulent adulteration may result in significant repercussions to those using the tampered products. One example in particular culminated in severe, life-threatening circumstances. Dan Lineberger was diagnosed with fulminant renal (kidney) failure after taking a dietary supplement suspected of containing high toxicity levels of an undisclosed drug.
In a period of five weeks, Lineberger went from being completely healthy to knocking on deaths door. A drug toxicity from a dietary supplement caused fulminant hepatic (liver) failure, which lead to fulminant kidney failure. As his symptoms began to worsen, he was administered to Johns Hopkins hospital in Maryland. It was there that he met with a hepatologist and, eventually, the transplant team in charge of replacing is kidney.
Initially, doctors only gave him one week to live. Circumstances seemed grim for the man who was 100 percent healthy just one week before. “I was scared, confused, quite irritable at times, but only in relation to the sheer torture of the effects of the liver and kidney failure,” Dan says. “I probably remained in denial until the night I got a call in my hospital room telling me they had a donor…I was glad to have a chance to live, but upset another young person had to pass away and her family changed forever.”
Accordingly, doctors found a donor immediately and were able to preform a successful transplant. During his recovery, Lineberger maintained a heightened morale by keeping in touch with family and friends. His only communication with the outside world relied on the cell phone and laptop he kept next to his hospital bed. While he has not made a full recovery yet, Lineberger continues to progress with each passing day.
Though he admits that he is not at the level of health that he once was, Dan says “Although I still have many limitations, I try to live every day as normal as I can. Mainly I am grateful to be alive and I owe both Hopkins and my donor’s family a great debt of gratitude.”
Due to the severe nature of kidney failure and a disregard for public safety committed by the manufacturer, Lineberger, in association with The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, filed a complaint in Orange County (California) Superior Court. According to the complaint, Lineberger purchased several products from a Max Muscle retail store in Rancho Cucamonga, California, including “Epio Plex.” Subsequently, one or more of the products contained anabolic steroids or similar ingredients, but were still distributed as dietary supplements.
Epio Plex was recalled by another distributor, BodyBuilding.com, in November of 2009 after the FDA determined that Epio Plex and 64 other supplements may contain steroids associated with serious adverse effects, including acute liver failure.
Do I Have a Dietary Supplement Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in dietary supplement lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been injured after taking a dietary supplement, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.