A Rosemead woman on Tuesday sued Herbalife Ltd., contending she had to be hospitalized for lead-related liver problems after taking a combination of the company's nutritional supplements.

The woman, Philis Chen, is represented by Christopher Grell, a San Francisco attorney who is an ally of Herbalife critic and short seller Barry Minkow.

Minkow in recent months has waged a campaign against Los Angeles-based Herbalife over its business practices and product safety. He had admitted to shorting the company's stock, although he says it is to pay for his group's investigation.

Minkow cites independent laboratory tests he commissioned that indicate levels of lead in several Herbalife products that if taken in combination over an extended period could lead to liver problems.

However, Herbalife this week issued a press release stating that it had commissioned its own tests at independent labs in the U.S. and Europe. Those results concluded that the products in question did not contain high enough levels of lead to require a special label under a California disclosure requirement, the company said.

The suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, did not include the dollar amount of damages sought.

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