Dieter Who Developed Heart Disease Wins Another Round Against Atkins Corporation
|Plaintiff Jody Gorran|
A Florida judge has ordered Atkins Nutritionals to produce internal business records as well as other evidence sought by plaintiff Jody Gorran, a former dieter who is suing the weight-loss corporation. Gorran developed a near-fatal artery blockage after following the high-fat Atkins diet for two-and-a-half years; his lawsuit, filed last year, has withstood Atkins’ repeated attempts at dismissal. Gorran had filed a motion to compel in the face of Atkins’ repeated refusal to produce documents and answers to questions in the discovery phase of the case. PCRM provides legal services for Gorran.
Gorran believes that Atkins Nutritionals’ internal business records are crucial to his case because they will likely show that the corporation engaged in deceptive commercial speech not protected by the First Amendment. In another recent victory for the former dieter, Atkins Nutritionals has agreed to produce documents and other evidence relating to the dangers of the diet.
In his lawsuit, Gorran contends that the Atkins diet caused him to develop severe coronary artery disease, including dramatically elevated cholesterol levels, crushing chest pains, and a potentially fatal arterial blockage requiring an angioplasty and a stent. A heart scan done prior to Gorran’s beginning the diet showed no signs of heart disease. He is asking that all Atkins products and books be required to carry warning labels, and he is seeking less than $15,000 in damages.