A wrongful death lawsuit against L.A. Weight Loss Centers Inc. has settled for $700,000 in Madison County.

According to a March 3 order approving the settlement, L.A. Weight Loss will make payment to the two children of a woman who allegedly suffered fatal liver failure after using supplements recommended to her by the staff of an O'Fallon center.

The woman's sister, Carolyn Schur, sued on behalf of the estate and on behalf of Pamela Hoppe's minor daughter.

Of the $700,000, about $311,000 will go to Schur's attorneys, Eric and Jon Carlson of Carlson & Carlson P.C., for fees and costs.

The remaining funds will be split between Hoppe's two children, totaling out to about $194,484.41.

The suit had been set for trial earlier this month.

According to the suit, after Pamela Hoppe sought help losing weight in 2004, she was given and used supplements that were not tested or regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

She later developed symptoms of liver disease and sought treatment at Gateway Regional Medical Center.

She was transferred to St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis where she was diagnosed with liver failure caused by the supplements.

She was placed on the liver transplant list.

Hoppe died of liver failure Aug. 29, 2004.

The suit sought damages of at least $50,000 per count and costs.
Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder approved the settlement last week.

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

L.A. Weight Loss is represented by Pamela Triplett.

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

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