Men claim dietary supplement caused liver problems, sue maker and distributor

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 19, 2009, 2:18am

GALVESTON – A Houston law firm has filed a pair of suits against a Virginia dietary supplement manufacturer on behalf of two men who complained of liver problems as a result of taking a steroid.

The Gibson Law Firm alleges Jesse Woods of Baytown and Heath Stevison of Lake Charles, La., suffered liver failure in July after the plaintiffs took M-Drol, a capsule made by defendant Competitive Edge Labs.

"The defect or defects made this product unreasonably dangerous for its intended use," court documents say.

"Such defect or defects were the proximate cause of the plaintiffs' injuries and damages."

The complaints were filed Nov. 17 in Galveston County District Court.

They show Woods and Stevison bought the product in question at TF Supplements in Galveston, explaining that M-Drol was a steroid precursor which carried a methylated compound reportedly known to cause serious liver damage.

Competitive Edge Labs marketed the pill as a dietary supplement, according to the original petitions in both suits.

In late July, the FDA issued a warning stating that consumers should stop taking steroids as dietary supplements, ordering that anyone who took the steroids must seek immediate medical attention if they experience liver trouble.

The plaintiffs say they started to show symptoms of liver failure just weeks after they popped their first M-Drol.

Woods claims P-Plex, another steroid-based pill produced by Competitive Edge Labs, also contributed to his illness.

Both men were hospitalized for long periods of time and diagnosed with severe and permanent liver damage, their suits state.

The plaintiffs say they were put on strictly limited diets and could not work because of the supplements' devastating toll.

They also insist the likelihood of undergoing liver transplants.

Woods' spouse, a co-plaintiff, says she suffered a loss of consortium.

TF Supplements is also a defendant in the case.

Both the shop and Competitive Edge Labs are accused of negligence, negligent representation, breach of implied warranty, and products liability.

The plaintiffs seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the litigation.

Case Nos. CV092115 and CV092118

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