Three lawsuits against a diet drug maker for wrongful death of one woman were consolidated and allowed to continue, a federal court judge in Hawaii ruled this week. Sonnette Marras, wife and mother of seven, died due to liver damage caused by OxyElite Pro diet pills, say the plaintiffs, who between the three cases sued a slew of associated individuals and entities..
There is serious support for their claim, according to Courthouse News Service. Federal prosecutors recently indicted the drug makers, USP Labs and others, claiming they used synthetic materials instead of natural plant extracts as advertised. This seems to lend credence to what Sonette Marras' family says about her wrongful death.
What the Feds Claim
The feds believe the synthetic materials used instead of plant extracts led to an outbreak of liver injuries. This was confirmed by January 2014 news reports out of in Hawaii that more than 50 people nationwide who used the pills suffered from acute nonviral hepatitis or liver failure between May and October 23, 2013.
The federal indictment also accuses USP labs and its principals of telling the Food and Drug Administration in October 2013 that OxyElite Pro distribution would stop, once the product had been implicated in an outbreak of liver injuries. Despite this promise, "USPLabs engaged in a surreptitious, all-hands-on-deck effort to sell as much OxyElite Pro as it could as quickly as possible."
The company also sought to dismiss Marras' family's claims. She was the only death attributed to the weight loss supplement. Instead, the lawsuits were consolidated and will continue together.
What to Do
If you or anyone you know has taken OxyElite Pro diet pills -- or any other pill or supplement -- and has experienced harmful effects, see a doctor. Also, consider consulting with counsel. As the ruling in Hawaii this week shows, there is recourse for people who are injured by dangerous drugs.