Robert Roden, partner at Shelby Roden, achieved the first jury verdict in the nation against an Ephedra manufacturer in McClain vs. Metabolife. The verdict was in excess of $4 million.
Ephedra, a once-popular weight-loss supplement, allegedly caused heart attacks and strokes. A great number of people complained about what Ephedra had done to them, including racing heartbeats and high blood pressure. Although those health problems were an issue, the plaintiffs were also dealing with bigger problems, like hemorrhagic strokes and death. The accusations opened the door for massive consumer litigation.
Robert Roden played a key role in the litigation as one of seven members of the plaintiffs’ coordinating committee when all of the cases were consolidated in New York. Mr. Roden was the only southeastern attorney on the committee.
“One day, you will hear on the news that the FDA has banned Ephedra,” said Robert Roden in late 2002 during the closing arguments of McClain vs. Metabolife. His prophetic words eventually bore themselves out when the Food and Drug Administration instated just such a ban, citing Ephedra’s potential to cause heart attacks and strokes.