Less than one week after a recall for Hydroxycut products was issued as a result of reports of liver damage and other injuries, a class action lawsuit has been filed in Canada alleging that the manufacturer failed to provide proper warnings and misled consumers about the safety of the weight-loss aid.
Hydroxycut is a natural supplement manufactured by Iovate Health Sciences Inc. as a fat burner, weight reducer, energy booster, low carbohydrate diet aid and to reduce water retention.
On May 1, 2009, the FDA urged all consumers to stop using Hydroxycut following reports of at least 23 users developing serious liver problems, ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes to liver damage that required a transplant. Hydroxycut side effects were also associated reports of seizures, heart problems and a rare muscle disorder known as rhabdomyolysis.
Although Health Canada has not received any reports of liver damage from Hydroxycut use in Canada, they did release a statement indicating that they have received 17 reports of Hydroxycut problems involving respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological and gastrointestinal systems among Canadians using the products.
Iovate HealthSciences, Inc. has issued a Hydroxycut recall for more than 14 different products, including Hydroxycut Hardcore, Hydroxycut Max, Hydroxycut 24 and other related supplements.
On May 4, 2009, a Hydroxycut class action lawsuit was filed in Canada on behalf of all Canadians who purchased any of the products for personal use after May 1, 2003. The complaint, which was filed by the Toronto law firm Juroviesky & Ricci, LLP, alleges that the manufacturer sold the products without proper warnings about the Hydroxycut safety risks.
According to the complaint, “the failure to state [on the label] that Hyrydroxycut use could effect your cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurological systems as well as your liver and kidneys, is an omission of important risk information, and as such, is a false, misleading and/or deceptive representation that deceives or tends to deceive consumers into believing that their consumption of such Hydroxycut has no adverse effect on the above mentioned.”
The Hydroxycut lawsuit seeks general damages in the amount of $20 million for the class, disgorgement of all revenues or other amounts earned from the sale of Hydroxycut to the Class Members, as well as punitive damages and other costs.
In the United States, it is anticipated that the first cases will be filed within the next few days. A number of product liability lawyers throughout the country are reviewing individual Hydroxycut lawsuits on behalf of users who have suffered a personal injury, such as liver damage, death or other problems that may have been caused by Hydroxycut.
Although the injury cases filed in the United States will be brought as individual lawsuits, it is expected that all complaints filed in federal court will eventually be consolidated for pretrial proceedings in an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, due to the commonalities in the cases and injuries.