Diet pill labeling not comprehensible, suit filed in federal court

Ann Knef Aug. 4, 2005, 4:18am

A Centreville woman who suffered a hemorrhagic stroke after taking an herbal dietary supplement Stacker 2 filed suit against manufacturer NVE Pharmaceuticals and Quik Trip convenience store in U.S District Court of Southern Illinois.

Marguerite Johnson, represented by Trent B. Miracle and Virginia L. Borden of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, claims the product’s health hazards were purposefully downplayed and understated.

“Much of the truth is now known about Stacker 2,” the complaint states. “Stacker 2 can raise the blood pressure, increase the heart rate, and can cause seizures, strokes, brain injury, heart failure and sudden death.

“Instead of pulling Stacker 2 from the market, defendants kept selling the product and allowed the plaintiff to take Stacker 2 and suffer a hemorrhage stroke.”

She bought the supplement from a Quik Trip located at 970 West Highway 50 in O’Fallon and ingested it on Oct. 22, 2003. The suit was filed July 15.

The suit claims federal court venue is appropriate because there is a “diversity of citizenship” and “damages exceed the jurisdictional amount required.”

Johnson is seeking to recover damages on counts of product liability, negligence, breach of warranty and deceit and fraud.

“Stacker 2 was defective because, for example, it combined ephedra extract and kola nut extract,” according to the suit. The Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of ephedra in dietary supplements.

Johnson also claims the product’s labeling was defective because the warnings could not “reasonably be expected to catch the attention of a reasonably prudent person” and were not “comprehensible to the average person.”

More News