LA Weight Loss suit: Parties in settlement talks

Amelia Flood Feb. 25, 2010, 7:00am

The parties in a Madison County wrongful death suit against a diet program provider are in settlement discussions, according to the case's docket sheet.

The case had been set for trial Monday morning at 9 a.m.

According to the docket sheet, attorney Christopher Donohoo was appointed to represent the daughter of a woman who allegedly died from liver failure after using diet supplements she got at an O'Fallon L.A. Weight Loss Center in April 2004. Donohoo was appointed to review a proposed settlement in the case.

The child's aunt, Carolyn Schur, sued L.A. Weight Loss Centers, Inc. as the administrator of her sister, Pamela Hoppe's estate.

Schur sued the company in 2005 for eight counts of negligence, wrongful death, and other charges.

Her suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 per count and costs.

According to the complaint, Pamela Hoppe of Granite City became a customer of the diet center on April 27, 2004. She hoped to lose weight.

L.A. Weight Loss Centers allegedly recommended a diet and certain dietary supplements. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate many of these supplements.

After taking supplements from the center as advised, Hoppe went to Gateway Regional Medical Center in August 2004 with nausea, abdominal fullness and jaundice.

She was transferred to St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis and she was diagnosed with liver failure caused by the supplements.
She was allegedy then admitted to intensive care and placed on a liver transplant list. She died Aug. 29, 2004, leaving behind a son and a minor daughter.

Schur became the child's guardian.

Her suit contends that L.A. Weight Loss recommended supplements that were not properly tested for safety, failed to warn Hoppe of risks of the supplements, and did not exercise proper quality control.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder is presiding in the case.

Schur is represented by Eric and Jon Carlson.

The defendant is represented by Pamela Triplett.

The case had been assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth previously.

The case is Madison case number 05-L-362.

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