Gayle M. Blatt, a partner with San Diego-based Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP, has been appointed by U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz to serve on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee as Liaison Counsel for the growing number of Hydroxycut personal injury cases in Multi-District Litigation (MDL 2087), now pending in the Southern District of California.
In a recently filed court order, Blatt is charged with overseeing key duties in the litigation -- receiving and distributing pleadings, orders and motions on behalf of plaintiffs, receiving orders and notices from the MDL Judicial Panel, as well as carrying out other duties the court may order.
The pending cases include allegations that consumers were not adequately warned about Hydroxycut, a dietary supplement used for weight loss, and its serious association with liver and cardiac problems and other health risks.
Blatt, who concentrates her practice on pharmaceutical and product liability litigation, has earned numerous multimillion-dollar results for her clients, and is especially active in complex product liability cases.
With a goal of expediting the handling of the Hydroxycut cases, Blatt was appointed to serve as the liaison between the court and the attorneys who are handling those cases, said Frederick Schenk, a senior partner with Casey Gerry. “In this capacity, she will serve as the primary conduit between the court and plaintiffs' counsel, playing a significant role in this increasingly important litigation,” he said.
The FDA has received numerous reports of adverse liver effects in users of Hydroxycut products, including asymptomatic blood liver enzyme changes, jaundice, liver damage, liver transplant and death. As a result, on May 1, 2009, the FDA announced consumers should immediately stop using Hydroxycut products. Since then, numerous families have come forward to say loved ones have been harmed by one or more of the products featured in the recall: Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets; Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets; Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets; Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets; Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets; Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets; Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix); Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets; Hydroxycut Liquid Shots; Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink); Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed; Hydroxycut 24; Hydroxycut Carb Control and Hydroxycut Natural. Consumers who have these products are advised to stop using them and to return them to the place of purchase.
Submitted by Casey Gerry