A federal judge in El Paso, Texas, signed a court order on Wednesday dismissing with prejudice all claims against USPlabs LLC, Dallas, and other defendants in a case that alleged the company's product Jack3d contributed to the death of a soldier during a military training exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas, in 2011.
To be dismissed with prejudice means the case is dismissed once and for all.
The case, Sparling vs. USPlabs et al, was filed in 2013 by Leanne and Michael J. Sparling, parents of the deceased soldier, Michael L. Sparling, who had consumed Jack3d prior to collapsing during training. A ruling in July 2015 granted the defendant's motion to strike the testimony of three of the plaintiff's four expert witnesses. On Jan. 20, the plaintiff's appeal of that ruling was denied.
Jack3d is a dietary supplement that contains 1,3dimethylamylamine (DMAA), a compound that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an advisory warning about. In 2013, the Department of Defense (DoD) removed all products containing DMAA from stores on military bases after Sparling and two other soldiers died after taking products containing DMAA. A later review by the DoD found insufficient evidence to prove the DMAA-containing supplements had caused the deaths of the three soldiers, but the DoD elected to keep products containing the ingredient out of military stores.
USPlabs has maintained that its products are safe and lawful, according to a release from Steckler LLP, the law firm that defended USPlabs in the case.
"We are extremely pleased at the outcome," Bruce W. Steckler, lead counsel for the defendants, said in the release. "This victory exonerates USPlabs and proves that these allegations were unfounded."
USPlabs LLC faces a number of similar lawsuits involving its products. This was the first case against the company to be decided.
In November 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed an 11-count indictment against USPlabs and S.K. Laboratories Inc., Anaheim, California, related to the sale of its products. USPlabs CEO Jacob Geissler, President Jonathan Doyle and another employee, Matthew Hebert, were charged with obstruction of an FDA proceeding and conspiracy to commit money laundering.