December 3, 2013
HAWAIIUSPlabs LLC last month was named a defendant in another lawsuit that implicates its OxyElite Pro supplement in an outbreak of hepatitis and liver injuries.
According to a complaint filed on Nov. 21 in federal district court, Kenneth Waikiki required a liver transplant after ingesting OxyElite Pro Super Thermo from a GNC store in Kailua-Kona. A separate lawsuit was filed just two days earlier against USPlabs on behalf of another OxyElite Pro user who claimed she was unable to work for most of the year due to her liver injury.
Wayne Parsons, Waikiki's lawyer in Honolulu, contended that his client never exceeded the recommended dosage of the supplement. The complaint asserts various claims of negligence, strict products liability and breach of implied warranty.
Hawaii and federal officials have said the supplement is linked to one death, two liver transplants and dozens of other liver injuries.
The Waikiki complaint names as defendants USPlabs and its executives Jonathan Vincent Doyle and Jacob Geissler as well as GNC Corp. USPlabs has not responded to requests for comment on the lawsuits. GNC also declined to comment, citing its policy.
The 22-year-old Waikiki fell ill about a month after taking OxyElite Pro, with his eyes and skin turning yellow before he was in a coma and received a liver transplant on Oct. 1, Hawaii News Now reported.
USPlabs has maintained its products are safe, and the company believes counterfeit versions of the product are being marketed in the United States. But Parsons claimed that's simply not true.
"There is no evidence that counterfeit OxyElite Pro products exist. Nor has FDA found substantiation for such a claim," he wrote in the lawsuit.
FDA, which is investigating the outbreak along with Hawaii health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was not immediately available Tuesday to comment.
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