Yonke Law successfully resolved a complex case involving the sale of a defective product labeled, “Stiff Nights.” Enlightened Reading Inc, also known as Erotic City, is an adult bookstore in Jackson County, Missouri selling various adult products including the herbal/dietary supplement Stiff Nights. Erotic City marketed the supplements as sexual enhancers that assist with erectile dysfunction. Yonke Law represented the young children of the 37 year old man who passed away after ingesting a single Stiff Nights capsule.
In September of 2012, our clients’ father purchased a two pill blister pack of Stiff Nights before going on a date with his girlfriend. The man suffered from high blood pressure and was taking the prescription medication Lisinopril. After a night of heavy drinking the man, ingested a single pill. Approximately 45 minutes later, his blood pressure dropped and he went into cardiac arrest. The man was taken to a local hospital where he remained in a coma for three days until he passed away.
The firms investigation determined that Erotic City purchased the Stiff Nights product from various adult product distributors in different parts of the United States. Erotic City marketed Stiff Nights as a safe, nonprescription alternative to Cialis or Viagra, citing the contents were made from natural herbs. The firm’s investigation found this to be far from the truth.
Various Stiff Nights manufacturers in the United States purchased the ingredient/analogue Tidalifil from China and added it to the Stiff Nights pills. Tidalifil is the active ingredient/analogue found in Cialis, which requires a physician’s prescription. The firm argued that due to the fact that herbal supplements are not regulated as strictly as medications and do not require FDA approval, the sellers of herbal/dietary supplements are required to be familiar with the ingredients of the product as well as any safety concerns.
Due to Stiff Nights history, the FDA issued a warning in November 2009 that the dietary supplement contained an undeclared ingredient that could dangerously lower blood pressure. The FDA further stated that the pills were illegal. Erotic City was unaware of the FDA warning and the dangers of Stiff Nights. Through it’s corporate representative, Erotic City stated it did not have any policies and procedures in place to ensure that it was selling safe products, it simply looked at what other adult businesses sold.
Because there was no way to track which of the various Stiff Nights manufacturers had distributed the pill ingested by the victim to the Missouri Erotic City location, there were no other defendants in the case. The case settled for Erotic City’s $1,000,000.oo USD insurance policy limits one month before trial.
Unfortunately, while Erotic City no longer sells Stiff Nights, it can still be purchased at various businesses across the United States. Due to the lack of FDA regulations, consumers must be very careful when purchasing or consuming any type of herbal/dietary supplement. You should always be informed and consult your physician prior to using over-the-counter products.