Dietary Supplement DMAA Comes Under Fire In Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Over the weekend I read about another lawsuit involving the dietary supplement, DMAA, on the Insurance Journal website. This particular case involved a wrongful death claim filed in California by the surviving family of a soldier who died of a heart attack during physical training after consuming a dietary supplement called Jack3d.
Apparently, the solder in California was the American hero to die after taking DMAA before physical exertion. As a result, the military has removed Jack3d from the shelves of its commissary and exchange stores. Jack3d is manufactured by a supplement company called USPLabs.
Frankly, I was surprised to read about the San Diego DMAA lawsuit, because I had only recently read about a $2 million class action settlement between USPLabs and multiple claimants over its different dietary supplements that contained DMAA, in Los Angeles Superior Court. It does appear that the damages in the San Diego case are much more significant than the plaintiffs in the class action case.
DMAA is a synthetic material that can be used to dilate blood vessels. It was originally used as a nasal decongestant, but supplement makers began marketing it as an athletic performance enhancer several years ago. Due to concerns about DMAA being connected to heart disorders, nervous system disorders, psychiatric disorders, and death, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to several supplement makers just last year requesting that they prove that DMAA is safe. In addition, the World Anti-Doping Agency added DMAA to its prohibited substance list in 2010.
Here in Florida, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers can be held liable if they make or sell an unreasonably dangerous product. However, each state has its own, unique body of law when it comes to products liability claims or lawsuits involving dangerous products. It certainly seems that DMAA would qualify as a dangerous product in Florida. I use several dietary supplements regularly, but would not take DMAA given the information available.