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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE October 25, 2004

Atkins Diet on Trial: First Hearing Scheduled for Tues., Oct. 26

Lawsuit Spotlights Diet's Cardiovascular Risks; Plaintiff Seeks Warning Labels

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—The first hearing in the landmark lawsuit against Atkins Nutritionals will be held on October 26 in West Palm Beach. The plaintiff, 53-year-old Jody Gorran, will argue that the Atkins corporation should be held liable for the life-threatening artery blockage he suffered after more than two years on the diet. Gorran filed suit against Atkins Nutritionals on May 26 in Palm Beach County Courthouse. The not-for-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is providing legal representation. Atkins Nutritionals is a privately held corporation, reported to be worth in excess of $700 million.

A former volunteer fireman and advocate for children’s rights, Gorran is motivated by his desire to protect others from a diet he feels nearly killed him (requiring both an angioplasty and stent). By requesting only a small amount in damages—less than $15,000—Gorran is making it clear that he has not filed this suit to make money. Instead, he wants to show others that they can seek recourse in the courts if they or their loved ones suffer death or injury as a result of the Atkins diet. He is also seeking an injunction preventing the sale of Atkins books and products without fair and adequate warnings about the dangers of the diet. Here are the details about the hearing:

WHAT: First hearing in landmark lawsuit against Atkins Nutritionals. Hearing will determine whether case will move forward; judge may issue her ruling on day of hearing.

WHO: Dan Kinburn, Esq., PCRM’s senior counsel. Jody Gorran, plaintiff.

WHEN: 10 a.m., Tuesday, October 26. Kinburn and Gorran are available before and after the hearing for interviews and photos.

WHERE: Palm Beach County Courthouse, Courtroom 6B, 205 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

Related Links:
Legal order (PDF)

News release on lawsuit filing

The lawsuit (PDF)

Gorran’s opposition (PDF)

Gorran biography

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