Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Oct. 21, 2013, 8:23am

A pharmaceutical company blamed for developing a diet pill which allegedly caused a woman’s stroke filed a motion to dismiss.

According to the complaint filed July 26 in St. Clair County, Catherine Bauer claims she visited defendant Supplement Superstore in Shiloh in July 2011 to buy weight-loss pills she had taken previously with no problems.

While at the store, she claims defendant Jordan Pea, manager of the store, suggested Bauer try 1-Db Goddess and Thyro-Drive, which is manufactured by defendant 1st Phorm International. Pea allegedly told the plaintiff that the supplements were the “best weight-loss pills on the market” when taken together.

However, Pea allegedly failed to discuss safety, warn of potential side effects or tell Bauer how to take the supplements. She claims she left with a free sample of the pills Pea had given her in a clear plastic bag and was allegedly instructed to take them with water and a meal.

Bauer claims she took the pills the following day with food and water. But the next morning, she woke up “with extreme weakness on the left side of her body and slurred speech,” the suit states. Her condition was later diagnosed as a stroke.

Bauer is described in the complaint as a 36-year-old woman who is “generally healthy with no history of stroke or cardiovascular problems.”

Defendant 1st Phorm International filed a motion to dismiss through attorneys Robert J. Bassett and Jennifer L. Dickerson of Williams, Venker & Sanders LLC in St. Louis, claiming the plaintiff fails to state a cause of action, fails to separate counts for recovery and fails to give sufficient facts.

1st Phorm states that it is impossible to determine which allegations are against it or even if the plaintiff has stated a claim because the complaint blames the defendants as a group rather than establish controversy against them individually.

According to the motion, the plaintiff must allege a sale of goods, by a merchant of those goods and the goods were not of merchantable quality in order to plead a cause of action premised upon breach of implied warranty.

1st Phorm further argues that the plaintiff fails to allege that she purchased the products and cannot prove a sale of goods.

The plaintiff also allegedly failed to state a cause of action under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, which requires “a deceptive act or practice by the defendant, the defendant’s intent that the plaintiff rely on the deception, the occurrence of the deception in the course of conduct involving trade or commerce and actual damage to the plaintiff proximately caused by the deception."

Buff Enterprises LLC is also named a defendant.

Bauer blames the manufacturers of the two diet drugs, the health store and its manager for her condition. She is suing on counts of strict products liability, breach of implied warranty, negligence, breach of express warrant, misrepresentation by omission, fraud and misrepresentation along with a violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

Bauer seeks a judgment of more than $300,000.

Michael Gras, Christopher Cueto and Lloyd M. Cueto of Belleville represent the plaintiff.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-390

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Williams Venker & Sanders
100 N Broadway
St Louis, MO 63102

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