ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community  

Go Back   ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community > ADULTS AND ADD/ADHD > Adults with ADD > General ADD Talk
Register Blogs FAQ Chat Members List Calendar Donate Gallery Arcade Mark Forums Read

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-17-05, 09:40 AM
scuro's Avatar
scuro scuro is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,388
Thanks: 2
Thanked 210 Times in 84 Posts
scuro has disabled reputation
Dr. Breggin->ADHD is Dad's fault.

"In my clinical experience, most so-called ADHD children are not receiving sufficient attention from their fathers who are separated from the family, too preoccupied with work and other things, or otherwise impaired in their ability to parent. In many cases the appropriate diagnosis is Dad Attention Deficit Disorder (DADD)". (Breggin, 1991)
__________________
"Time's glory is to calm kings, to unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light". - William Shakespeare
  #2  
Old 04-17-05, 09:46 AM
scuro's Avatar
scuro scuro is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,388
Thanks: 2
Thanked 210 Times in 84 Posts
scuro has disabled reputation
Dr. Breggin unplugged.

From quackwatch ->Link removed by moderator
Dr. Breggin was an expert witness in class action claiming ADHD is a fraud. Here is a link to where it all went wrong for him. ->Link removed by moderator

More thoughts on why he lost; "This is, in part, why this litigation is so bizarre and specious. In many of the media releases, plaintiffs' allege that psychiatrists nationwide have profited by development of an "invented" diagnosis by the APA, but - in fact - well over 90% of all office visits and prescriptions written devoted to treatment of children who have ADHD are in the hands of Pediatricians and Family Practice Physicians. Another irony is that Child Psychiatrists who are Board-Certified by the APA are far less inclined to select Ritalin as the first choice of medication than are Primary Care Physicians.

The allegation that CH.A.D.D. somehow has conspired with Novartis to promote sales of Ritalin, as if this supervened the interests of the concerned parents of ADHD children who founded this organization, is utterly preposterous. CH.A.D.D. is a national, non-profit support group dedicated to the best interests of children who have ADHD. One of the most important thrusts of this organization for the past decade has been the attempt to advocate for effective treatment for these children at all levels of care, especially including access to effective psychological, educational, and medical care. No single organization in this field has a comparable record of advocacy for truly "multi-modal" treatment.

One especially colorful comment by Dr. Joseph Biederman, Chief of Pediatric Psychopharmacology at Harvard Medical School, was quoted in the October, 2000 issue of Clinical Psychiatry News (page 5): "The only thing that surprises me is that [the] lawsuit does not allege that aliens are also involved in a conspiracy to poison our children." Stay tuned! This might be almost as entertaining as the Scopes trial several generations ago!"

Please review forum rules regarding posting of links!
__________________
"Time's glory is to calm kings, to unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light". - William Shakespeare

Last edited by Trooper Keith; 04-17-05 at 11:41 AM..
  #3  
Old 04-17-05, 11:43 AM
Trooper Keith's Avatar
Trooper Keith Trooper Keith is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,841
Blog Entries: 16
Thanks: 226
Thanked 3,332 Times in 1,335 Posts
Trooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond reputeTrooper Keith has a reputation beyond repute
Dr. Breggin is also unlicensed and not accredited by the APA. His words are effectively worthless.

I would also point out that I received plenty of attention from my father, so there goes that. Furthermore, the symptoms of ADHD do not seem to be related to a missing parent, and there are many, many children without ADHD raised in 1 parent homes.
__________________
I wish I was a headlight on northbound train; I'd shine my light through the cool Colorado rain.
Sponsored Links
  #4  
Old 04-17-05, 01:10 PM
scuro's Avatar
scuro scuro is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,388
Thanks: 2
Thanked 210 Times in 84 Posts
scuro has disabled reputation
Content of removed links

Link one from quack watch

1)Some Notes on ADHD and
Peter R. Breggin's Unfair Attack on Ritalin
Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a commonly diagnosed childhood disorder with core symptoms that include inappropriate levels of attention, concentration, activity and distractibility. Although its cause is unknown, considerable progress has been made in managing it. Scientific studies have found that the single most effective treatment is medication with a stimulant drug, of which the most commonly used has been methylphenidate (Ritalin). Behavioral approaches that include helping parents and teachers to deal with the child's behavior are also important, but they are not a substitute for medication in most cases.

These views are strongly supported in publications of the American Academy of Pediatrics [1,2], American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry [3], American Medical Association [4], American Psychiatric Association [5,6], National Institutes of Health [7,8], United States Surgeon General [9], and an international consensus of experts [10]-- all of which reflect solid agreement within the scientific community.

In stark contrast, psychiatrist Peter Breggin claims that ADHD is not a genuine diagnosis and that the drugs used to treat it do far more harm than good. In line with these views, he has written books [11,12], testified at government hearings [13], and served as a consultant in several lawsuits. He would like you to believe that his clinical experiences and investigations have enabled him to reach a level of insight that is greater than that of the majority of mental health professionals. This article describes why I consider him untrustworthy.
Breggin's Background

Peter R. Breggin, M.D., is a Harvard College graduate who obtained his medical degree from Case Western Reserve Medical School in 1962. After training in psychiatry at Harvard and State University of New York Upstate Medical Center (Syracuse), he worked for two years at the National Institute of Mental Health. Since 1968, he has practiced psychiatry in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area [14]. Breggin describes his private practice as "psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families, including children," with "subspecialties" in "the adverse effects of medications, electroshock, and psychosurgery" and "forensic psychiatry and patient rights." [15] His online resumé states that he has testified as an expert in about 40 cases, many of which involved psychiatric drugs, FDA regulations, and product liability [15]. His 18 books, most written for the general public, attack psychosurgery, electroconvulsive therapy ("shock treatments"), Prozac, Ritalin, and the use of psychiatric drugs in general.

In 1972, Breggin founded The International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP), a nonprofit organization "concerned with the impact of mental health theory and practices upon individual well-being, personal freedom, and family and community values." [15] ICSPP's 2000 federal tax report states that its primary purpose is to gather and distribute information about the "hazards of bio-medical model of psychiatry." [16] Other information I found on the Internet states that ICSPP had one part time employee [17] and less than $25,000 in annual income throughout most of its existence [16]. Breggin also launched Ethical Human Sciences and Services, a journal that began publication in 1999. He has also been listed on the advisory board of Network Against Coercive Psychiatry, an anti-psychiatry organization whose home page asserts that the "mental health establishment has conned the American people."

Breggin's Web site states that he "has been informing the professions, media and the public about the potential dangers of drugs, electroshock, psychosurgery, involuntary treatment, and the biological theories of psychiatry for over three decades." [14] The back cover of his Ritalin Fact Book describes him as "the conscience of psychiatry." [12] I believe it would be more accurate to characterize him as a harmful nuisance whose views can undermine trust in the medical profession and frighten people away from helpful treatment.
A Bit of Puffery?

Breggin's resumé and other biographical reports describe him as a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners; a "Specialist in Psychiatry" recognized by the State of Maryland, Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, Board of Physician Quality Assurance; a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Medicine; and a Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners. He also states that he is (or has been) on the editorial board of six peer-reviewed journals and has published more than 25 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Although these accomplishments might sound impressive, they actually are much less than they might seem.

* Breggin is not certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, which is the recognized agency for certifying psychiatrists.
* Having completed three years of psychiatric training, Breggin is entitled to call himself a psychiatrist or a "specialist in psychiatry." Until 1996, the Maryland Board of Quality Assurance maintained a list of "identified" specialists. Anyone who completed an approved training program was eligible for listing. No special examination or additional qualifications were required.
* To become licensed in the United States, every physician must pass an examination given by the National Board of Medical Examiners or an equivalent examination by a state licensing board. Thus being a "diplomate" of the National Board of Medical Examiners means nothing more than the fact that the doctor has passed a standard licensing exam. Most resumés I have seen do not list this credential.
* The American Board of Forensic Examiners is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which is the recognized standard-setting organization. ABMS offers subspecialty certification in forensic psychiatry and forensic pathology, neither of which Breggin has achieved.
* Only one of the six journals with which Breggin has been affiliated is significant enough to be listed in MEDLINE, the National Library of Medicine's principal online database.
* On September 5, 2002, I found that Breggin had 33 citations listed in MEDLINE. None of these publications appears to be a research report. Eight were letters to the editor, two were books, and most of the rest were expressions of his opinion on various psychiatric topics.

ADHD: The Prevailing Scientific Viewpoint

The prevailing scientific viewpoint is that ADHD should be regarded as a neuropsychiatric disorder, that it differs from simply rambunctious behavior, and that medication has been thoroughly studied and found to be helpful in managing the problem. The American Psychiatric Association has published a list of criteria that should be used in making the diagnosis [4]. As its name implies, ADHD is characterized by two sets of symptoms, inattention and hyperactivity. Although these usually occur together, one may be present to qualify for a diagnosis.

In 1997, largely in response to Breggin's writings, the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs issued a report on ADHD that was approved by the AMA's House of Delegates. The report concluded:

Diagnostic criteria for ADHD are based on extensive empirical research and, if applied appropriately, lead to the diagnosis of a syndrome with high interrater reliability, good face validity, and high predictability of course and medication responsiveness. The criteria of what constitutes ADHD in children have broadened, and there is a growing appreciation of the persistence of ADHD into adolescence and adulthood. As a result, more children (especially girls), adolescents, and adults are being diagnosed and treated with stimulant medication, and children are being treated for longer periods of time. Epidemiologic studies using standardized diagnostic criteria suggest that 3% to 6% of the school-aged population (elementary through high school) may suffer from ADHD, although the percentage of US youth being treated for ADHD is at most at the lower end of this prevalence range. Pharmacotherapy, particularly use of stimulants, has been extensively studied and generally provides significant short-term symptomatic and academic improvement. There is little evidence that stimulant abuse or diversion is currently a major problem, particularly among those with ADHD, although recent trends suggest that this could increase with the expanding production and use of stimulants.

Although some children are being diagnosed as having ADHD with insufficient evaluation and in some cases stimulant medication is prescribed when treatment alternatives exist, there is little evidence of widespread overdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of ADHD or of widespread overprescription of methylphenidate by physicians [3].

ADHD: What Breggin Says

The Ritalin Fact Book makes many claims that clash with the prevailing scientific viewpoint. Among other things, it exaggerates the problem of misdiagnosis, misrepresents what medication is likely to do, greatly exaggerates what non-drug treatment can accomplish, misrepresents the results of a scientific study, uses an out-of-context quote to attack the credibility of other professionals, and exaggerates the extent of side effects. Here are my responses to several such passages in the book:

What Breggin Says My Comments
Page 3: "Many children diagnosed with ADHD and treated with stimulants have relatively benign problems. Often they simply daydream in the classroom or dislike school a little more often than other children. Or they may be a little bit more active and energetic than most." Although misdiagnosis obviously can occur, Breggin presents no data showing that this is a major problem or that it is likely to happen when skilled professionals conduct the evaluations.
"Some children with ADHD are very angry, out of control, and difficult to be around. When children have these more serious behavioral or emotional problems, stimulant medication is likely to worsen their mental condition and behavior." This advice is extraordinarily irresponsible. The fact that stimulant medication can calm many hyperactive children has been known for more than 60 years and has been demonstrated by many well designed clinical studies. Breggin has published no clinical study and provides no data to back his claim.
Page 3: "Even the most difficult and out-of-control children can be helped by informed adult intervention without resort to drugs." On pages 161-174, Breggin supports this statement with passages about a nurse he met during a train ride and two experienced teachers who told him how they dealt with children that were considered hyperactive. The techniques they described are standard ones that would work with mildly disturbed children and might help but would not be sufficient to control truly hyperactive children. Breggin assumes that the descriptions were accurate, concludes that the techniques would work for all hyperactive children, and treats this anecdotal evidence as more important than well-designed studies in which children have been formally diagnosed and their behavior carefully monitored.
Pages 36-37: "A 1997 study published in Pediatrics confirms high rates of stimulant-induced depression in 125 children . . . who were given relatively small doses of Ritalin or Dexedrine. Two children on Ritalin and two on Dexedrine developed severe enough adverse effects to be terminated from the study. One eight-year-old became 'over-focused, extra sensitive, and increasingly anxious,' and a five-year old became 'extremely aggressive and tearful' . . . . Side effects from amphetamine (Dexedrine) were higher than those from Ritalin for 'trouble sleeping, irritability, prone to crying, anxiousness, sadness/unhappiness, and nightmares.'" Breggin's description distorts what the study showed. The study, which lasted two weeks, was done to compare the side effects of Ritalin and Dexedrine and to identify which symptoms might be due to the underlying condition rather than to the drugs. The researcher's concluded that overall, both drugs "were well tolerated by most subjects" and that "many symptoms commonly attributed to stimulant medication are actually preexisting characteristics of children with ADHD and improve with stimulant treatment." [18] A 3% dropout rate caused by temporary symptoms is certainly is not reason to avoid use of the medications. What do you think it means that Breggin uses data from a highly favorable study to argue that stimulant drugs should be avoided?
Page 85: "Pronouncements made in public by professional advocates for stimulants paint glowing pictures about the effectiveness of these drugs. But professional reviews and textbooks often present a more conservative picture -- one that hardly justifies exposing children to such great dangers. A review in the American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Psychiatry concluded: 'Stimulants do not produce lasting improvements in aggressivity, conduct disorder, criminality, education achievement, job functioning, marital relationships or long-term adjustments.'" The textbook sentence is quoted out-of-context. The paragraph from which it comes begins: "Treatment outcome studies of ADHD have led to some striking findings. in addition to helping reduce inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, treatment with psychostimulants can lead to enduring improvement in social skills and attitudes toward self." [19] The sentence is part of a long discussion of the benefits, risks, and limitations of various treatment methods. The authors clearly state that stimulant drugs are likely to be useful for the majority of children with ADHD, but that special educational or psychological help may still be needed.
Pages 93-94: "Starting with the first dose, almost any psychiatric drug . . . can worsen the symptoms commonly thought of as ADHD-like. . . . People who persistently use psychiatric drugs legally or illegally for several months or more are likely to become forgetful, overlook details, and lose their focus on difficult tasks. Similarly, they may begin to experience "disinhibition" or "loss of impulse control." The earliest signs are irritability and unexpected outbursts of anger, followed eventually by dangerous expressions of violence. I have seen this pattern develop in dozens of clinical and legal cases involving both adults and children." Breggin, who states on page xvii that he never starts anyone on psychiatric medication, cites no source for this sweeping condemnation other than his own vaguely described observations (mostly with people who come to him because they are dissatisfied with their treatment). All effective medications can produce adverse effects. However, competent prescribers will adjust dosage and/or change medication to produce maximum benefit with minimum or no adverse effects. Millions of people believe they have been helped by psychiatric drugs. Does Breggin think that they, the doctors who prescribe the drugs, and the thousands of researchers who have studied the effects of such drugs are dishonest or are fooling themselves?

In the book's introduction (pages xviii-xx), Breggin attempts to justify his contrary views by portraying himself as privy to unique information.

In addition to more than three decades of clinical work, this book draws upon the years of work required for writing dozens of scientific books and articles; the workshops I have given for professionals and the public; teaching I have done in the past at universities . . . and presentations I have made at national conferences for health professionals and attorneys. . . .

I often hear about newly discovered adverse drug reactions long before most professionals become aware of them. . . .

I have yet another unique source of information and knowledge. For many years I have been a consultant and medical expert in legal actions involving psychiatric drugs, including the stimulants described in this book. . . . .

My most specialized source of information about psychiatric drugs comes from my work as a medical expert in cases against giant pharmaceutical companies that are charged with negligence or fraud in developing or publicizing their products. In this fascinating legal arena, I can gain access to secret "inside information" about psychiatric medications that is literally unavailable to any other physician in the world. . . .

Based on my publications and consultations, a series of class-action suits have been brought against Novartis, the manufacturer of Ritalin, charging the company with conspiring with the American Psychiatric Association and the parents' group Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD) to fabricate the ADHD diagnosis and foster the overuse of Ritalin.

Research? Unique private communications? Access to "secret" documents? A big conspiracy? As far as I can tell, Breggin has made no systematic clinical reports, and the book provides no relevant "insider information" or alleged facts about any conspiracy. The suits to which he refers were filed during the year 2000 in California, Florida, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Texas and were not legitimate. The California and Texas suits were dismissed by the courts for failure to state a proper cause of action [20]. The New Jersey suit was withdrawn after the judge made it clear that he was highly skeptical of plaintiffs' allegations of conspiracy [21], and the others were quietly withdrawn, presumably because the plaintiffs realized they were certain to lose. The final withdrawal took place on August 16, 2001. Yet The Ritalin Fact Book' (publication date July 2002) and Breggin's Web site still portray the suits as legitimate and pending.

Russell A. Barkley, PhD, a university-based psychiatry professor who has specialized in ADHD and related disorders for more than 20 years and has published more than 150 scientific papers, book chapters, and books, reached a parallel conclusion about the first edition of Breggin's Talking Back to Ritalin. In a blistering review, Barkley said:

Literally from its opening pages, this book makes contorted attempts at the appearance of scholarship, replete with quotes, footnotes, and references to scientific papers and other sources. Throughout, any quote is mustered from scientific papers that can be taken out of context to support the author's biases along with every exaggerated fact and figure he can find to support his call to alarm, no matter the credibility (or lack of it) of his sources. However, the flaws of both his research methods and his arguments are evident to any scientist even slightly familiar with the scientific literature on the topics covered here [22].

Barkley also led a team of 75 experts who recently issued a international consensus statement expressing concern about the "inaccurate portrayal of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in media reports." Although the statement did not name Breggin, it obviously referred to him in the following passage:

Occasional coverage of the disorder casts the story in the form of a sporting event with evenly matched competitors. The views of a handful of non-expert doctors that ADHD does not exist are contrasted against mainstream scientific views that it does, as if both views had equal merit. Such attempts at balance give the public the impression that there is substantial scientific disagreement over whether ADHD is a real medical condition. In fact, there is no such disagreement -- at least no more so than there is over whether smoking causes cancer, for example, or whether a virus causes HIV/AIDS [9].

Breggin's credibility has also been skewered during three legal actions in which judges either excluded his testimony or gave it no credibility. The first two involved dubious claims that a medication had caused severe harm, and the third was a contest between parents about whether or not a child with ADHD should be treated with Ritalin.

This court finds that the evidence of Peter Breggin, as a purported expert, fails nearly all particulars under the standard set forth in Daubert and its progeny. . . . . Simply put, the Court believes that Dr. Breggin's opinions do not rise to the level of an opinion based on "good science." The motion to exclude his testimony as an expert witness should be granted. -- Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler in Lam v. The Upjohn Company, No. 94-0033-H, W. Dist., of VA (Harrisonburg Division, U.S. District Court, 1995)

The court believes not only is this gentleman unqualified to render the opinions that he did, I believe that his bias in this case is blinding. . . . I find that he . . . was not only unprepared, he was mistaken in a lot of the factual basis for which he expressed his opinion. . . . The court is going to strike the testimony of Dr. Breggin, finding that it has no rational basis. -- Judge Hilary J. Caplan in Lightner v. Alessi, No. 94013064/CL174959 (Baltimore City Circuit Court, 1995).

Dr. Breggin's observations are totally without credibility. I can almost declare him, I guess from statements that floor me, to say the he's a fraud or at least approaching that He has made some outrageous statements and written outrageous books and which he says he has now withdrawn and his thinking is different. He's untrained. He's a member of no hospital staff. He has not since medical school participated in any studies to support his conclusions except maybe one. . . . I can't place any credence or credibility in what he has to recommend in this case. -- Judge James W. Rice in Schellinger v. Schellinger, No. 93-FA-939-763 (Milwaukee County Circuit Court, 1997)

The Bottom Line

Peter R. Breggin , M.D., would like you to believe that his personal experience and judgment enable him to out-think and outperform the collective wisdom of the science-based mental health community. Some of the things he describes may reflect genuine problems. However, he is prone to exaggeration and has certainly failed to substantiate his ADHD-related criticisms. The Ritalin Fact Book should be classified as junk science.


Link 2

Lessons From the Ritalin Class Action Victories

Jim O’Neal led a Faegre & Benson team that served as national counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in five class actions around the country that attacked Ritalin, the well known medication for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Other team members included firm partners Joe Price, Linda Svitak, and Bruce Jones.

Despite a flurry of national publicity surrounding the lawsuits, and a high powered and well known collection of plaintiffs’ attorneys on the other side, all of the class action lawsuits were dismissed in less than three years.

In this interview with the publication Trends, Jim discusses how that result was achieved and suggests lessons for the defense of other complex litigation.

Trends: Let’s look at the history of the Ritalin cases. In the summer and fall of 2000, the drug's manufacturer was faced with five class action lawsuits, in jurisdictions from California to New Jersey to Puerto Rico. The plaintiffs claimed that the manufacturer conspired with the American Psychiatric Association to loosen the diagnostic criteria for ADHD and expand the market for Ritalin. This litigation got a lot of national attention, didn’t it?

O’Neal: Yes, it did. The national media was trumpeting this litigation as “the next tobacco.” It was one of the “Big Suits of 2000” in the ABA Journal. The lead plaintiffs’ attorney Richard Scruggs, famous for his role in the tobacco cases, was quoted in Newsweek magazine, and one of his fellow attorneys was on Good Morning America, promising there would be whistle blowers and bad documents and all the big problems associated with truly major litigation.

Trends: Now, less than three years later, the litigation is all done and the defendants have won. What happened?

O’Neal: What happened was that courts around the country agreed with us that these lawsuits never made any factual or legal sense. The diagnostic criteria for ADHD represent the consensus of the scientific community, and Ritalin has been around for decades as a safe and effective treatment for that disorder. Fortunately, the judges that were assigned the lawsuits saw through the emptiness of the plaintiffs’ case. Three of the class actions were dismissed on the pleadings before any discovery had to be done, and the other two cases were dismissed voluntarily when it was obvious there was no merit to the complaints.

Trends: Companies always argue that there’s no merit to the lawsuits against them, but they still spend years paying for discovery and defending the litigation. Why was this different?

O’Neal: I think a lot of the credit goes to the fact that the defendants were willing to spend the time and money up front to let their lawyers master the facts and do a detailed strategic analysis at the beginning, rather than learning the cases as the discovery process went along.

Trends: How was your strategic analysis helpful in getting the cases dismissed?

O’Neal: First, it seemed to us that the complaints were intentionally vague on a critical point. There are a small number of activists out there who, despite the best medical evidence to the contrary, advocate the view that ADHD doesn’t exist at all as a disorder – that hyperactive or inattentive kids just need good parenting to make these problems go away. Certain parts of the complaints suggested that this was the plaintiffs’ theory, and we figured we could completely discredit that theory with clear scientific evidence.

On the other hand, other parts of the complaints suggested a different theory – that some patients really do have ADHD and benefit from Ritalin, but that the medication is overprescribed. If plaintiffs committed to that theory, we didn’t see how this case could ever be a class action. You’d need separate trials for every class member to see if he or she was legitimately prescribed medication or not. So we figured we’d win either way, but we had to make the plaintiffs commit to a single theory.

Trends: How did you do that?

O’Neal: The cases were pled under various consumer fraud statutes. That gave the plaintiffs the benefit of the liberal standards in many of those statutes. But it also meant they were fraud claims that had to be pled with particularity under the rules. So in the Texas class action we moved for an order saying that the complaints weren’t specific enough. In other words, the plaintiffs had to state whether they believed ADHD didn’t exist, or whether they thought it did exist but too many people are diagnosed with it. The judge pressed for an answer to that question, and finally in oral argument, the plaintiffs agreed that some patients do have ADHD but they think the medicine is overprescribed. That was really the alternative they had to choose if they wanted to preserve any scientific credibility at all, but it hurt their class action arguments badly.

Trends: How did you use that against them?

O’Neal: One of our co-defendants’ counsel pointed out that California has a broad statute that allows for prompt dismissal of cases that aren’t brought for a proper purpose, like cases that are intended to intimidate defendants from exercising their rights to freedom of speech. That statute allowed us to show the Court, right away and before any discovery, that advocacy groups have been making these kinds of claims for years but that the consensus of the scientific community is clearly on the other side. So we made our next move in California and moved to dismiss under that statute. We also argued that their complaint failed to state any actionable claim, because they didn’t and couldn’t plead that anything our client supposedly did had any impact on particular members of the proposed class.

Trends: And you won?

O’Neal: We won. We got a well written opinion from the federal judge, ruling in favor of all the defendants and even awarding attorney fees. We were able to take that opinion and get similar dismissals in federal court in Texas and state court in New Jersey, even though those states didn’t have statutes comparable to California. The copycat class actions in Florida and Puerto Rico were then dismissed voluntarily. Just recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed all of the California trial court’s opinion, except a portion that basically related to product liability claims. The plaintiffs then voluntarily dismissed their case in exchange for our waiving the attorney fees we’d been awarded.

Trends: The bottom line is that all of these supposedly major class actions are dismissed and gone in less than three years, with no discovery at all.

O’Neal: Exactly.

Trends: Other than the need for “front end loading” major litigation with early case assessment and strategic analysis, should we take away any other lessons from the Ritalin cases?

O’Neal: I’m a great believer in early identification of your major themes. You can use these messages from the beginning to give courts, the media and all your other audiences a clear and convincing idea of why you should win the case. These themes have to be entirely true, and they have to be worded in a way that appeals to people’s common sense. Then people readily recognize the truth, because your message is consistent with what they already believe anyway.

Trends: Examples?

O’Neal: In these cases, we felt our key messages should include the fact that ADHD is a real and serious disorder that causes suffering if left untreated. Ritalin has been established as a safe and effective treatment for that disorder for more than 40 years, and both the medicine and the disorder are supported by the consensus of top scientific authorities. Whatever you think about whether any particular patient was properly diagnosed and treated, the court system shouldn’t be dictating to psychiatrists how to practice psychiatry. These are examples of messages that are absolutely true, and we believe they also resonate with people in a way that’s helpful to a litigation position. And it’s never too early to identify such messages in cases that are truly threatening. Doing it when you’re sitting down to write your opening statement for trial is way too late, because you’ve already lost in the media and in the mind of your judge.

Themes like this are also consistent with another of my most important principles in defending complex litigation: keep things simple. Occam ’s razor is the term for cutting away everything unnecessary so that only the essential remains. Litigators in big cases need to use that razor a lot. I don’t know who Occam was, but he’d have made a good trial lawyer! Too many litigators actually seem intent on making things more complicated than they already are. But it’s simplification and clarity that win cases.

Jim O’Neal’s practice focuses on the defense of class actions and mass tort litigation, usually involving product liability or consumer fraud claims. In addition to his Ritalin victories in 2003, he recently won dismissal at the trial court level of the wrongful death claims against the Minnesota Vikings arising out of the 2001 training camp death of Pro Bowl offensive lineman Korey Stringer. He is based in the firm’s Minneapolis office.
__________________
"Time's glory is to calm kings, to unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light". - William Shakespeare
  #5  
Old 04-17-05, 04:33 PM
Imnapl's Avatar
Imnapl Imnapl is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 8,848
Blog Entries: 2
Thanks: 13,418
Thanked 3,792 Times in 1,934 Posts
Imnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond repute
1) Gary Null
http://www.freedommag.org/english/vol2704/rights.htm

2) Dr. Szasz
Link B - is a link that shows that Szasz helped direct CCHR. Below is a short excerpt. - http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-psychiatry

3) Dr. Breggin
Link C - Connects Breggin to the CCHR. His wife also used to belong ot Scientology.
http://www.holysmoke.org/cos/breggen.htm
__________________
Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.

Phaedrus


  #6  
Old 04-17-05, 04:52 PM
motorbrain motorbrain is offline
Contributor
 

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SF bay area
Posts: 321
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
motorbrain is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuro
"In my clinical experience, most so-called ADHD children are not receiving sufficient attention from their fathers who are separated from the family, too preoccupied with work and other things, or otherwise impaired in their ability to parent. In many cases the appropriate diagnosis is Dad Attention Deficit Disorder (DADD)". (Breggin, 1991)

LOL!!!!
This is hilarious. If there is a genetic component then there's a reason Dad didn't pay attention.

What a maroon.
  #7  
Old 04-17-05, 05:21 PM
Tara's Avatar
Tara Tara is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Middleboro, MA USA
Posts: 6,363
Thanks: 23
Thanked 494 Times in 229 Posts
Tara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to all
Yes, this actually supports the idea that ADD exists since it's gentic.
__________________
Tara
  #8  
Old 04-17-05, 05:27 PM
Imnapl's Avatar
Imnapl Imnapl is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 8,848
Blog Entries: 2
Thanks: 13,418
Thanked 3,792 Times in 1,934 Posts
Imnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond repute
. . . and no one told Breggin!
__________________
Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.

Phaedrus


  #9  
Old 04-17-05, 06:17 PM
fasttalkingmom's Avatar
fasttalkingmom fasttalkingmom is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 3,343
Thanks: 1
Thanked 21 Times in 18 Posts
fasttalkingmom has a spectacular aura aboutfasttalkingmom has a spectacular aura about
I'm so sorry, I find this very interesting but I really can not read all of that post......

I posted not to complain but to let you know I read your post to the best of my abilities so you know your time was not wasted.
  #10  
Old 04-17-05, 07:22 PM
Johna Johna is offline
Contributor
 

Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: none
Posts: 413
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Johna is on a distinguished road
Fasttalkingmon I am with you, the post was to long to hold my attention
1-3 children are being raised in home without a father. Does this mean that 1-3 children will have add/adhd?
  #11  
Old 04-17-05, 11:33 PM
Imnapl's Avatar
Imnapl Imnapl is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 8,848
Blog Entries: 2
Thanks: 13,418
Thanked 3,792 Times in 1,934 Posts
Imnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond reputeImnapl has a reputation beyond repute
scuro, thank you for taking the time to share the information with us.
__________________
Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.

Phaedrus


  #12  
Old 04-17-05, 11:55 PM
scuro's Avatar
scuro scuro is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,388
Thanks: 2
Thanked 210 Times in 84 Posts
scuro has disabled reputation
your welcome...nothing ****es me off more then disinformation.
__________________
"Time's glory is to calm kings, to unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light". - William Shakespeare
  #13  
Old 04-18-05, 12:57 AM
crazymama05's Avatar
crazymama05 crazymama05 is offline
Forum Guru
 

Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 866
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 6 Posts
crazymama05 has disabled reputation
scuro, you rock dude. Nothing like stuffing their own words back into their mouths.

And kudos on typing that whole thing. Yikes, it would have taken me a week.
__________________
My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely.
Closed Thread

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(c) 2003 - 2015 ADD Forums