Epstein Becker Green recently achieved a significant victory for a dietary supplement company client, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Hi-Tech”), in a case brought in federal court in New York by a mixed-martial arts fighter. The plaintiff claimed that Hi-Tech and Gaspari Nutrition, Inc. (“Gaspari”), sold him dietary supplements containing illicit anabolic steroids and thereby caused him to be suspended from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”). While under contract with the UFC, the plaintiff allegedly consumed two dietary supplements, one of them being Anavite, which is manufactured by Gaspari and Hi-Tech.
On behalf of Hi-Tech, Epstein Becker Green submitted a motion for summary judgment. In June 2020, the judge granted our motion to dismiss the case, ruling that there was no genuine dispute of material fact and that the defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Central to the judge’s decision was her finding that reports from a sports testing laboratory purporting to detect 1-androstenedione in two Anavite bottles submitted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency were inadmissible hearsay. The judge pointed out that the plaintiff’s initial disclosures didn’t include anyone from the sports testing laboratory to introduce the lab results and lay their foundation and that the plaintiff’s disclosures were never amended or supplemented to correct that omission. Consequently, without anyone to testify as to the lab results, the plaintiff had no evidence that Anavite was adulterated with illegal steroids.