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Hydroxycut(R) Litigation Focus of July 28 Conference in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hydroxycut(R) controversy - according to noted plaintiff attorney Vance Andrus - has all the characteristics of the "next big one" - the next massive products litigation for plaintiff attorneys. But Iovate Health Sciences Inc., maker of the myriad Hydroxycut weight-loss and muscle-building products, says the FDA's accounting of adverse event reports is "small relative to the many millions of people who have used Hydroxycut products."

HB Litigation Conferences, formerly Mealey's Conferences, is holding a half-day seminar - titled Hydroxycut(R) Litigation Conference - at the Mission Bay Conference Center at the University of California in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 28, 2009.

Designed to educate plaintiff and defense attorneys, companies and insurers, the program is being chaired by Vance Andrus of Andrus Boudreaux PLC in New Orleans and leading California trial attorney Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese in Los Angeles.

Annesley DeGaris of Cory Watson Crowder & Degaris P.C. of Birmingham, Ala., will detail the products and ingredients. DeGaris noted on a recent HB teleconference that there were 14 Hydroxycut(R) product lines for weight loss supplements and within those lines, there were 56 variations based on quantity, size and flavor.

Anne Andrews of Andrews & Thornton in Irvine, Calif., will provide an overview of the $23.7 billion dietary supplement industry, including the history of Hydroxycut(R) maker Iovate / Muscletech.

A "Panel Defendants' Forum" will address lessons from Ephedra, distributors, ingredient makers, jurisdiction and consolidation. Moderated by Thomas Clark of Andrus Boudreaux, panelists are John Boundas of Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas in Houston; Annesley DeGaris of Cory, Watson; and Neil Overholtz of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz in Pensacola, Fla.

Thomas Clark said during a recent HB teleconference that from January to October 2007, there were 298 adverse event reports made to the FDA regarding dietary supplements. That number grew to 948 for the same period in 2008. Of those reports, Clark said, 596 were mandatory reports by the industry. The FDA estimates that there are 50,000 adverse events from dietary supplements each year, but less than 5% of these are being reported, Clark explained. "This rises to a whole new level of under-reporting," he said, in part because individual consumers either do not connect their symptoms with the supplements or do not tell their doctors they are taking them.

Dr. Andrew Klein, MD, FACS, MBA, director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and David Vermont of Ashcraft & Gerel in Washington, D.C., will provide a review of the medical and scientific aspects of liver, kidney and cardiovascular injuries, alleged to be caused by these supplements.

Lori Andrus of Andrus Anderson in San Francisco and Robert Gordon of Weitz & Luxenberg in New York will provide a perspective on case screening, client retention, case management, and medical record review and testing.

Iovate itself says that it has more than 750 items sold in more than 70 countries, and they "undertake extensive medical, scientific and toxicological literature reviews on the safety of the ingredients during the development stage of each product. Additionally," a May 1 statement from the company continues, "third-party experts from the leading independent scientific firm specializing in ingredient assessment, toxicology and product safety for the nutritional and pharmaceutical industry review the safety of Iovate's ingredients and formulas before products are introduced in the marketplace. Only after this external review is completed does Iovate release a formula."

An article written for Calliope Media states that approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, with 60 million classified as obese, and 9 million as severely obese (source: The American Obesity Association). In 2004, 18.9% Americans reported that they had taken one or more dietary supplements in the past year (source: the Institute of Medicine). By 2007, 68% of Americans used dietary supplements, a 2% growth from the previous year (source: Ipsos-Public Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition). Retail and non-retail sales of dietary supplement products across all distribution channels in the U.S. were $17 billion in 2000 (source: The Nutrition Business Journal, 2001).

Calliope Media, which owns An Attorney for You, on May 1, 2009 started looking for people injured by Iovate Health Sciences Inc.'s dietary supplements. Within four weeks, more than 2,300 Hydroxycut(R) case leads were generated by the firm for plaintiff attorneys.

To obtain articles or recordings from HB programs, and for more information about the July 28, 2009, Hydroxycut(R) Litigation Conference, contact HB Litigation Conferences by phone at (484) 324-2755, by email at, or by visiting the conferences section of HB's website at

HB Litigation Conferences has been producing high-end litigation events since 1992. Its president, Tom Hagy, is former publisher of Mealey Publications and vice president at LexisNexis. Sharon Boothe, HB's vice president, has been the conference director since the company's first program on lead paint litigation in 1992.

    Sharon Boothe
    Vice President
    (484) 324-2755 x208

SOURCE HB Litigation Conferences
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