Health supplements are a booming industry. Americans want nutrition to be convenient and quick, and are therefore willing to pay big bucks for products that deliver concentrated doses of vitamins and nutrients. In some cases, supplements can be a good way to restore or maintain health in older or physically infirm individuals.
But like all products, health supplements can be dangerous if there is a compromise in quality or manufacturing standards. Recently, the family of a deceased New Jersey woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a company that manufactures a popular herbal health supplement drink.
The 88-year-old woman reportedly took 60 servings of the product over a period of three months in late 2009 and early 2010. She did not exceed the dose recommended on the packaging. However, due to supply contamination at the factory, the drink powder which she was consuming allegedly had levels of Vitamin D that were 1,000 times higher than recommended.
In certain cases, Vitamin D can reach toxicity levels in the human body. According to her family, who filed the lawsuit in Manhattan, the woman was “in good physical health” before consuming the herbal supplement. However, taking the product allegedly caused “extremely painful, severe and life-threatening injuries to body and mind,” including heart damage and kidney failure, her family says.
The grieving family’s case against the manufacturer could be aided by news of other health complaints and lawsuits against the company, including a lawsuit by a New Jersey lawyer the very nutrition expert and radio-show host whose name endorses the product.
Health supplement products often make claims such as “all natural,” and most do not require a prescription. But it is important to remember that they can be just as dangerous as defective drugs if quality and manufacturing standards are not maintained.