Dietary supplement Jack3D with DMAA blamed for soldier’s heart attack and death

by Jay Pate

The supplement Jack3d is marketed as a safe way to increase strength, speed and endurance. Around April 2011, Michael L. Sparling, a soldier based at Fort Bliss in El Paso, began taking Jack3d. On the morning of June 1,2011, Sparling took the recommended dosage of Jack3d, which he had purchased from a GNC on the Fort Bliss base. Shortly thereafter he engaged in physical training with his unit during which he collapsed, requiring immediate medical attention. That same day, Sparling suffered cardiac arrest, hyperthermia, rhabdomyolysis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and died. A lawsuit claiming the young man’s death was caused by Jack3D has been filed against USPlabs and its executives and is now pending in federal court in Texas.

One of the ingredients of Jack3d is DMAA. The suit charges that DMAA is a dangerous sympathomimetic. Further, the lawsuit alleges that Jack3d additionally contains caffeine, thereby increasing the sympathomimetic qualities and dangers of DMAA, and contains CarnoSyn a propriety beta-alanine product, which is also dangerous. “Additionally, Jack3d does not work,” according to the suit.

Jack3d is sold through retailers such as GNC across the country. The Spalding lawsuit alleges that USPlabs knew or should have known “from their own studies that DMAA, when used in isolation or in conjunction with the other ingredients contained in Jack3d including caffeine and CarnoSyn, is dangerous and could injure or kill consumers” such as Mr. Spalding. “In fact,” the complaint alleges, “USP knew or should have known long before its own studies that DMAA could cause cardiovascular adverse effects based on the fact DMAA is in the same class of chemicals as amphetamines.”

DMAA is an aliphatic amine compound that has properties mimicking those of the endogenous neurotransmitters of the sympathetic nervous system. As such, it belongs to a group of compounds known as “sympathomimetics.” Members of this class include pharmaceutical products ephedrine and the amphetamines. DMAA has been linked to more than 100 illnesses and fatalities. In April 2013 (two months after the lawsuit was filed), USPlabs revealed plans to remove DMAA from its products. The company said its decision was for business reasons, and continued to defend DMAA as safe and lawful.

Although USPlabs now makes a new version of Jack3d — called Jack3d Micro — without DMAA, the original Jack3d remains widely available at some stores and Web sites. DMAA also continues to be available in dietary supplements from other companies.

HO&P Fighting for Drug Safety

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have spent years holding drug companies and medical device manufacturers responsible for the injuries and deaths caused by their reckless conduct. From dangerous fentanyl pain patches to defective hip and knee implant devices to Yaz, Actos, Avandia and Accutane, we have made it a career priority to hold drug manufacturers accountable and responsible for their actions.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are trial attorneys in the truest sense. We are as comfortable before a judge and jury as we are drafting a legal brief. In fact, every one of our attorneys has trial experience, ranging from auto accident cases to commercial fraud cases to pharmaceutical liability cases. Our attorneys have tried over 200 cases to verdict and we have achieved verdicts and settlements for our clients totaling more than $200 million. Most importantly, we are all committed to bringing the highest standards of ethics and a passion for justice to every client and every case.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson has the resources and experience to protect your rights against irresponsible pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. If you have been injured or have lost someone you care about because of defective or dangerous prescription drugs or medical devices, you deserve to have the manufacturer held responsible for such and deserve proper compensation. Contact us for a free consultation to find out more about your legal options.

by Jay Pate

John “Jay” Pate is a licensed attorney who focuses his practice on complex tort litigation involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.