Lloyd’s wins ruling in loss of life from dietary complement


A federal appeals court upheld dismissal of litigation filed against Lloyd’s of London in a case of a man whose death was attributed to ingesting a dietary supplement that had been banned by the Federal Drug Administration.

The FDA had already banned DMAA, an amphetamine derivative that has been marketed in sports performance and weight loss products, when Christopher Rosales purchased Noxipro, manufactured by Conroe, Texas-based CTD Labs LLC, which contained the substance, in May 2013, according to court papers in the estate of Christopher Rosales et. al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s.

Mr. Rosales was found unresponsive in his bed and pronounced dead in June 2013, with his death attributed to sudden cardiac arrest caused by his use of the Noxipro product, according to court papers.

In 2015, Mr. Rosales’ estate and heirs sued CTD for wrongful death and related claims. Its insurer, Lloyd’s, denied coverage based on a DMAA exclusion in its policy.

A settlement agreement was reached in which CTD agreed to a stipulated judgment of $9 million and assigned to the estate its right to pursue claims against Lloyd’s, according to court papers.

The US District Court in Las Vegas granted Lloyd’s motion to dismiss the case, and was affirmed by a three-judge appeals court panel.

Five causes of action in the estate’s lawsuit fail because the policy excludes the estate’s claims against CTD Labs, the appeals court of ruling states.

And allegations in the fifth cause of action, “’Insurance Unfair Trade Practices,’ hinge on coverage excluded under the policy,” the ruling says.

“The remaining allegation merely recite the text of Nevada’s Unfair Trade Practices Act,” the ruling says, in affirming the lower court’s ruling.

Lloyd’s attorney Thomas A Brusstar, a shareholder with McCullough PC in Chicago, said in a statement, “The Ninth Circuit rightly focused on the simplest possible basis for upholding the dismissal below, namely a clear exclusion.”

The estate’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.