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Dietary and Supplement Injury Attorneys

Dietary and Vitamin Supplements


When people turn to dietary supplements only to suffer serious injury and illness because of the dangers that these supplements pose, they should contact a dietary supplement injury attorney to consider their legal options.

At Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters, we hold negligent manufacturers responsible for the harm their products have caused. We offer free consultations, so contact us today by calling (570) 323-8711 or filling out our online contact form to get started.

What you should know about dietary supplements:

Most people do not consult their doctors when they take dietary and vitamin supplements. The reason for this is that there is little supervision by the federal Food and Drug Administration over dietary and vitamin supplements. The industry, through its advertising and outreach, makes it sound like these products are safe and “natural.” Therefore, it is understandable that those who take dietary and vitamin supplements would not talk with their doctor about it.

Even the safest product may have dangers for you in particular, due to your unique medical history or other medicines you are taking. Simply checking things out with your doctor ahead of time can save you a lot of stress and potential heartache. Also, your doctor may be able to recommend the best brand and type of product to give you the most effective result – or even steer you in a different direction altogether.


Unlike food and medicines, dietary supplements such as vitamins and weight-loss products do not go through the weak approval process. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approves pharmaceuticals and medical devices through a rigorous process, but supplements are a category all their own, so they are not subject to the same FDA requirements. This means that if you trust the government to catch every potentially dangerous supplement, you could be out of luck.

Supplement manufacturers often take risks in designing these supplements, such as using unknown Chinese imported ingredients, contaminated ingredients, and unknown ingredients that violate the minimal FDA standard, rendering the products adulterated and illegal.

A recent study by Consumer Reports highlighted 15 distinct supplement ingredients that can cause problems as significant as cancer, cardiac arrest, and organ damage. In some cases, these are interactions that occur when the supplements are taken with other medications. In others, the problem can be caused by an accidental overdose, because sometimes the supplements simply have the potential to build up and cause problems over time. In any case, avoiding these supplements (or taking them only under a doctor’s watchful eye) is recommended.  You must be proactive before you put any supplement in your body.

The scary facts about supplements:

In some cases, a weight-loss or energy-boosting formula could contain two or more of these products, making for a potentially dangerous situation. Many of these products are not “natural” as advertised, but contain unknown synthetic ingredients imported from China.

In fact, some manufacturers simply duplicate the chemical composition of an herb and then produce it synthetically. This means the product is not “natural.” Products may also be adulterated with other substances not listed on the label, such as highly dangerous chemicals. Many of these products come from China or other countries with little or no regulation and an incentive to make money regardless of the consequences.

The Effects of Dietary Supplements on Young People

We are continuing to learn more about the impact of supplements on younger populations. It’s critical to understand how these supplements affect young people, because they are often the targets of marketing campaigns launched by manufacturers of these products. The more we learn, the more concerned we should become.

In June 2019, researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published findings in the Journal of Adolescent Health that suggest certain dietary supplements are three times more likely than vitamins to cause severe medical outcomes in young people. Those outcomes include death, disability, life-threatening events, hospitalization, emergency room visits and required intervention to prevent permanent disability. The dietary supplements researchers studied included those used for muscle building, weight loss and energy.

The study looked at adverse events reported over the course of more than a decade. Researchers reviewed 977 single-supplement-related adverse event reports affecting individuals aged between 0 and 25 years. They found that these dietary supplements were associated with almost three times the risk for severe medical events compared with vitamins and suggested proactive enforcement of regulations to combat the use of supplements among young people.

Though proactive enforcement of regulations would help prevent young people from being exposed to these dangerous supplements, civil litigation offers another tool that we can use to address the problem. Manufacturers should be held accountable for the negative consequences caused by their products, and young people that have suffered serious health outcomes after using dietary supplements deserve compensation for the damages they have incurred.

What to do if you are affected.

If you believe you have suffered serious injuries from a vitamin or supplement, you should contact a lawyer right away so that he or she can get started working on your case. You may be able to sue the manufacturer for your medical costs and other related damages. After all, it is not your fault that these dangerous products were on the market. Contact our experienced legal team today. We achieve results when it counts.

Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters, has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.

If you or your loved one has been harmed by medical negligence, your next step should be to consult with Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters by calling (570) 323-8711 or by using our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the State of Pennsylvania, and other states where appropriate, offering a free consultation on all injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]