Federal Judge Awards Rams LB David Vobora $5.4M In Lawsuit Against Supplements CompanyPosted in Product Liability Keith Belt
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St. Louis Rams linebacker David Vobora was awarded $5.4 million in his lawsuit against a Florida supplements maker. More important, Vobora said his reputation has been restored.
U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel entered the order against the Anti-Steroid Program LLC of Key Largo, Fla., on Friday and attempts to reach the company or their attorney for comment Monday were unsuccessful. Attorneys for the 25-year-old Vobora said he used the company’s “Ultimate Sports Spray” in June 2009 without knowing it contained methyltestosterone, a banned substance that showed up in an NFL drug test and led to his suspension.
His lawsuit accused the company of intentionally misleading him and hurting his image in addition to lost income. The judge’s order includes $2 million for damaging Vobora’s reputation and another $3 million in lost “future income.” Vobora also lost $90,588 in game checks, plus the court ruled he lost $170,000 in performance bonuses and $100,000 in marketing endorsements.
Earlier this year, the NFL ordered new Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson to stop endorsing the company, which does business as Sports With Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS). The league in February also told some players they should not be
associated with the company as it studied some of the products.
NFL league policy places “strict liability” on the player and they are responsible for what is in their bodies especially when utilizing supplements, which are not regulated, therefore increasing the chance of having label inaccuracies. Players are accountable for any banned substances that may have been taken by mistake.
After the positive drug test, Vobora promised to sue and the spray was tested by an independent lab. The amount of steroid that was found in the bottle matched what was found in David’s bloodstream, while the company touted itself as anti-steroid, right down to its name, and that “couldn’t be further from the truth.”