CAMDEN, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - A man has filed a class action lawsuit against General Nutrition Center Holdings Inc. after he claims diet pills lead to liver damage.
USPLabs LLC was also named as a defendant in the suit.
USPLabs sells a variety of energy and weight loss dietary supplements under the brand name of OxyElite Pro through GNC, which are dangerous, sold pursuant to deceptive and unfair practices and are not fit for their intended purpose, according to a complaint filed Jan. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Sandeep Barot claims OxyElite Pro is intended to safely provide weight loss, energy and mental focus, however, it instead causes severe adverse health effects.
The plaintiff and all others similarly situated "did not bargain for a product that causes adverse health effects in exchange for their payment of purchase price," according to the suit.
Barot claims several adverse reactions have been reported from consumers who have purchased and ingested the product, including serious liver injury and wrongful death.
USPLabs and GNC had actual knowledge of the product's shortcomings, but both failed to timely act to adequately warn consumers of the unfitness of the product, the extreme adverse side effects associated with the product or provide adequate relief to the class of consumers who purchased the product, according to the suit.
Barot claims on Oct. 11, the FDA issued a warning letter to USPLabs regarding OxyElite Pro for its inclusion of aegeline or dimethylamylamine , known as DMAA.
Neither aegeline or DMAA has been demonstrated as an ingredient in the food supply as an article used for food in a form in which food has not been chemically altered, according to the suit.
Barot claims neither aegeline or DMAA is reasonably expected to be safe when used under the conditions recommended on the product's labeling.
Barot purchased the product based on the affirmative representation that it would safely produce energy, increase weight loss and increase mental focus so long as the consumer used the product as directed, according to the suit.
Barot claims he suffered economic damages as a result of purchasing the product.
The plaintiff, and no other reasonable consumer, would have purchased the product had they known about the severe adverse effects the product can cause to humans, according to the suit.
GNC and USPLabs engaged in unlawful conduct and caused Barot and the class members to suffer economic damages, physical damage and emotional distress damages.
Barot claims the defendants violated the New Jersey Consume Fraud Act and was unjustly enriched at the class members' expense.
Barot is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by William Riback of the Law Offices of William Riback.
The case has been assigned to District Judge Noel L. Hillman.
GNC sold OxyElite Pro products in New Jersey from Jan. 27, 2008, until Nov. 9, when USPLabs issued a voluntary recall.
On April 27, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to USPLabs regarding use of DMAA in OxyElite Pro and Jack3D products.
On July 20, 2012, USPLabs entered into a settlement agreement with class members in Hogan v. USPLabs LLC in the Superior Court of the State of California in Los Angeles and the settlement provided refunds for class members who purchased OxyElite Pro and Jack3D. USPLabs agreed to pay $2 million to compensate customers who purchased OxyElite Pro or Jack3D.
The action was based on USPLabs' inclusion of DMAA in the products. USPLabs was hit with a wave of lawsuits after it began receiving letters from the FDA regarding DMAA.
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey at Camden case number: 1:14-cv-000562