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Family of Soldier Files First DMAA Lawsuit in San Diego

Family of Soldier Files First DMAA Lawsuit in San Diego

March 13, 2013 — The first-ever DMAA lawsuit has been filed in San Diego Superior Court by the family of a United States soldier who died of a cardiac arrest after using the supplement Jack3D (pronounced “jacked”). The 22 year-old soldier, Michael L. Sparling, 22, from Northern California, took the recommended dosage of the supplement before routine physical training at the Army’s Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. He suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on June 1, 2011.

The lawsuit was filed against defendants:

  • USP Labs: The manufacturer of Jack3D.
  • GNC: A national supplement retailer that continues to sell DMAA products and Jack3D in physical stores and on their website.
  • Natural Alternatives International, Inc.: A company based in San Marcos, California that distributes ingredients for Jack3D.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants were negligent for marketing Jack3D as a “natural” supplement that had been scientifically proven to be safe and effective. According to the complaint, Jack3D is actually “a dangerous sympathomimetic, which can cause adverse cardiovascular events.”

This is not the first time concerns have been raised about the safety of Jack3D and other DMAA products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to USP Labs in April 2012, in which they stated:

“Synthetically-produced DMAA is not a ‘dietary supplement’ and, therefore, it is not eligible to be used as an active ingredient in a dietary supplement.”

The FDA also warned that DMAA can increase blood pressure and heart-rate, which may increase the risk of life-threatening cardiovascular events. Other adverse event reports include cardiac disorders, nervous system disorders, psychiatric disorders, and death.

After the death of two soldiers, including Mr. Sparling, the U.S. Department of Defense banned sales of products containing DMAA on military bases. Bans and restrictions have also been enacted in Australia, New Zealand, and nearly a dozen European countries. However, the federal government and the FDA have not banned DMAA in the United States.

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