A South Florida man has filed suit against a nutritional supplement manufacturer over a weight-loss product he claims severely damaged his liver.
Eric Rizzo, 40, of Islamorada, said he bought OxyElite Pro tablets and powders at Vitamin Shoppe stores in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and now suffers from acute, non-viral hepatitis and other serious liver problems, according to a lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Miami.
"He was just an overweight guy who wanted to lose weight," said his attorney, Mike Eidson, partner in the Coral Gables-based law firm Colson Hicks Eidson. "He took it according to the instructions and developed severe liver failure."
The manufacturer, USPlabs LLC, of Dallas, recalled the product in November, after receiving a letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stating the product was causing severe liver damage. At least one death has occurred among users, and others are awaiting liver transplants, according to the FDA. Several lawsuits have been filed against the company over the product.
The lawsuit filed in Miami names USPlabs and Vitamin Shoppe Industries as defendants. The companies did not return phone calls Wednesday or Thursday.
Eidson said the most important thing now is for people who bought the product to stop using it and seek medical help.
"Discard it," he said. "Contact a medical professional."