New Lawsuit Over Alleged DMAA Death

A dietary supplement containing DMAA allegedly caused the death of 34-year old man according to a complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. USPlabs, LLC and Bodybuilding.com, LLC were sued on July 15, 2013 by the widow of Todd Battuello alleging the DMAA in OxyELITE Pro (product of USPlabs) caused her husband’s cardiac arrest. A toxicology report revealed the presence of DMAA.

Over the last couple years manufacturers of products containing DMAA have been under increased scrutiny from regulators and legislators due to its alleged link to heart problems.  In 2012, the FDA issued warning letters to companies notifying them products with DMAA needed to be removed from the market or reformulated without DMAA. On July 2, 2013, after a legal battle with the FDA, USPlabs voluntarily destroyed its DMAA-containing products.

Since the FDA has already determined DMAA poses a risk to consumers based on existing studies, USPlabs and Bodybuilding.com will need to work with science counsel and its experts to determine  the state of the existing literature at the time of ingestion and assess possible causation defenses.  The validity of the information in the public domain about DMAA, including at what dose it may be harmful, will be critical.  USPlabs and other manufacturers or distributors of products containing DMAA will likely face additional lawsuits in the future. A Q&A from the FDA on DMAA can be found here.

Our Goldberg Segalla Risky Business blog post about House Republicans coming down on manufacturers and distributors of products containing DMAA can be found here.

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