Nineteen dieters have filed lawsuits claiming the Nutri-System weight-loss program led to gallbladder disease and accusing the company of fraud and negligence.
The plaintiffs are women from the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale areas ranging in age from 17 to 60, one of their attorneys, Robert J. Fiore, said today. They filed separate lawsuits seeking unspecified damages Monday in Dade County Circuit Court.
All but two plaintiffs had undergone surgery to remove their gallbladders, and those two suffered gallstones that may require hospitalization, Fiore said.
The lawsuits claim that Nutri-System, headquartered in Willow Grove, Pa., failed to supervise customers' weight-loss routines, which included packaged foods they bought from the company.
The lawsuits said the company should have known that rapid weight loss is linked with a variety of ailments. "In particular, rapid weight loss increases the saturation of bile with cholesterol, directly contributing to the formation of symptomatic gallstones and gallbladder disease," the suits charge,