BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Brown Rudnick, a premier international law firm, today announced that it has successfully reached a $56 million global settlement benefiting tort claimant creditors in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Metabolife International, Inc. -- one of the nation’s largest manufacturers and distributors of ephedra-based food supplements prior to the FDA’s early 2004 ban of ephedra products. The firm represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Metabolife bankruptcy. Many of Metabolife’s creditors are plaintiffs in ephedra-related personal injury tort lawsuits against Metabolife and other defendants relating to Metabolife’s ephedra-based products. The memorandum of understanding executed by the relevant bankruptcy parties provides for a consensual plan of liquidation for the benefit of all of Metabolife’s creditors, including a $56 million fund that will be established to satisfy the under- or non-insured ephedra tort claims against Metabolife and non-debtor defendants.
In June 2005, Metabolife (currently known as MII Liquidation) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the face of declining sales and increasing litigation over its flagship product, Metabolife 356, which contained the now FDA-banned ephedra herbal stimulant. At that time, Brown Rudnick was retained as counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Metabolife bankruptcy, which was filed in the Southern District of California. The firm created a multi-disciplinary legal team that consisted of attorneys from its Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Group and Litigation Department. This team built and implemented the architecture for a global settlement, as the firm had done in its representation of creditors in a prior ephedra supplier bankruptcy, that of Twin Laboratories. After more than a year of legal proceedings and negotiations, Metabolife and other defendants agreed to the $56 million global settlement of over 250 tort claims, thereby providing a positive resolution for tort claimants who would have been otherwise left with the probability of little recovery from Metabolife in the wake of that company’s bankruptcy. The memorandum of understanding also provides for mechanisms under which Metabolife’s other creditors will be treated and receive distributions.
Brown Rudnick is involved in other ephedra-related mass tort bankruptcies, in which the firm represents official committees. In the Chapter 15 bankruptcy of MuscleTech Research and Development Inc., a privately held Canadian manufacturer and distributor of health supplements and weight-loss products, the firm was appointed by the Canadian Court to represent the Ad Hoc Committee of Muscletech Tort Claimants. Additionally, Brown Rudnick represents the court-appointed Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving N.V.E., Inc., which was another major manufacturer and distributor of ephedra-based products.
About Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels LLP
Brown Rudnick is a full-service, international law firm with offices in the United States and Europe. The firm’s attorneys provide representation across key areas of the law: Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring, Complex Litigation, Corporate & Securities, Real Estate, Health Care, Government Law & Strategies, Energy and Intellectual Property. Combining a
dedication to excellence with a commitment to superior client service, Brown Rudnick provides its clients with a breadth and depth of expertise uniquely suited to their legal needs. For more information, please visit www.brownrudnick.com.
The Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest is a measure of the Firm’s strong commitment to the community and serves as an umbrella entity encompassing the Firm's pro bono legal work, charitable giving, community involvement and public interest efforts. For more information, please visit www.brownrudnickcenter.com.