Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are Nursing Homes An Easy Target Or Do They Need Reform?


A disabled woman's family is upset that a nursing home in Illinois does not do a better job monitoring the safety of its residents. They have filed suit against the Fox River Pavilion nursing home in Aurora, Illinois seeking compensation. Specifically, plaintiff's claim that a nursing home resident was sexually assaulted while in the nursing home's care. The sexual assault was allegedly done by a fellow resident. According to the March 25, 2010 complaint, the named defendants are Fox River Pavilion nursing home and Sylvester Graves, a patient.


Plaintiff alleges that Graves, 39, sexually assaulted and beat the victim at the nursing home. Graves apparently has a history of arrests for burglary and retail theft. He may suffer from bipolar disease and thus there may be some question as to his capacity. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home should have more closely monitored or restricted Graves. Plaintiffs contend that additional security and/or treatment for Graves would have prevented the assault. The victim apparently suffers from dementia. She was however, competent enough to go to a nurse's station after the assault.


Graves now in Kane County Jail awaiting trial on eight counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault and battery. In the civil suit, it is anticipated that the nursing home will deny any liability or negligence on their part.


But this is not the nursing homes first brush with controversy. In December, a resident died of heart failure after an attack on his roommate. After investigating the death, state and federal officials terminated funding to the home. Allegedly, it was determined that a lack of staffing contributed to resident-on-resident attacks. This raises the question of what means a nursing home must employ in order to properly monitor and treat aggressive mentally ill residents. This recent Kane County lawsuit as well as others may soon make it clear what safety methods juries expect nursing homes to take in the future.


Keep in mind that both Graves and the Fox River Pavilion are to be presumed innocent of all allegations until otherwise proven in court.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dr. Mark Viner a.k.a.. "Doctor of Mind" Should Not Be Condemned For Using A Different Approach ~by Legal Pub



Dr. Mark Viner. A controversial doctor or someone who has merely found a creative way to make a point? The Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services has launched an inquiry to determine the answer. Viner, a board certified psychiatrist, makes YouTube films under the alias of "Doctor of Mind." According to KTNV News, the Division of Mental Health plans to consult the Nevada attorney general's office this week to "determine the proper course of action." Viner works for the state-run Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, specializing in suicide intervention.




His video uses funny voices and his appearance comes across as less then professional. Click on the video below to watch him in person.


videoHowever, despite the complaints, his message appears to be clear, effective and very humerous. Is this simply an innovative doctor who presents a message in entertaining fashion? After viewing a few videos (he has hundreds), one suspects that an entertaining message, while potentially offensive to some, is nevertheless a message that will be heard. And after all, is that not what the profession needs? Those that can get their message across to those in need? After reading about the rash of suicides (six just on one campus alone this year), one would suspect that it is time to try something different. Thus, Dr. Viner's message and the forum that he uses should be studied and evaluated prior to passing judgment. That's Legal Pub's opinion, what is yours?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It Is 2010 And Men Still Need To Read Books Like "Undatable" ~by Blond Bombshell with Some Help From Ms. Calabaza


Now, I have never met Ms. C. But she sent Legal Pub a joke which was so illustrative of the title, I had to include it in this article.
Ms. C: An Irishman , a Mexican and a Blond male construction works used to eat lunch together on the 20th floor of a building project. Being tortured with repetition, the Irishman proclaimed, 'Corned beef and cabbage! If I get corned beef and cabbage one more time for lunch, I'm going to jump. The Mexican opened his lunch box and exclaimed, 'Burritos again! If I get burritos one more time I'm going to jump off, too.' The blond opened his lunch and said with equal disgust, 'Bologna again! If I get a bologna sandwich one more time, I'm jumping with you guys.'

Sure enough, the next day, the Irishman saw corned beef and cabbage in his lunch box and jumped to his death. The Mexican saw a burrito and leaped as well. The blond guy opened his lunch, saw bologna and jumped to his death as well.

At the funeral, the Irishman's wife sobbed, 'If I'd known how really tired he was of corned beef and cabbage, I never would have given it to him again!' The Mexican's wife also cried, 'I didn't realize he hated burritos so much.' But the blond man's wife sat silently. Sensing all of the stares, she exclaimed, 'Don't look at me. The idiot makes his own lunch.'

Blond Bombshell: Such is the way of modern life. Some men truly need help. So rather than bash men, I am going to offer some sage advice to help men improve their chances with the opposite sex. After all, Sandra Bollock appears to be back on the market. So all you guys got a shot, right? To start, buy and actually read the book, "Undateable." It has some humerus clues to explain why many men are home alone on weekends eating t.v. dinners. After you read the book, read it again. Then your are ready for some cliff note like advice for those still struggling with the concept of "self improvement." Are your ready for the ABCs...

A. Unless you are visibly impaired, don't wear sunglasses indoors.

B. Polyester tops, mullets, gold chains, crocks, and knee socks are out! NO EXCEPTIONS!

C. Speedos are a deal breaker. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!

D. Any man who unbuttons more than one button on his shirt is cheesy.

E. Wearing baseball caps indoors! They may be fine for outdoors, but leave them in your car. They have no place inside of any building, home or restaurant unless you are on the job as an employee of Home Depot.

F. Don't be a Dumb@ss! Learn how to read, write and spell. It is not romantic having a conversation with or receiving a note from a man who sounds like a third grader. (Contrary to what you may read, most of us are not cougars!) If you are not well educated, than no worries. Just take steps to improve yourself by reading books and taking classes. (Get that GED now instead of putting it off.)

G. Learn to communicate. This necessitates learning to listen. Your stories are great, but one who is willing to listen to our stories is truly an interesting partner.

H. Jewelry! Men who wear necklaces and rings don't have a chance with most of us! The only ring us single women want to see is a wedding ring... that is so we know to stay the hell away from you.
I. Facial hair. If it's scraggly, shave it off. Most men don't look good with facial hair. It's out unless you are a pirate or Yukon tour guide. Otherwise, we are always wondering what you are trying to hide under that hair.
J. Shoes. Subtle is in. Shiny shoes are not. That is unless you are Harry Potter or some other supernatural freak. If you are spending so much time polishing your shoes, you are bound to be a super narcissist!

K. Talking badly about children or animals? Jeffrey Dommer like images are created when such ugly words spew from your mouth.
L. Finally, I don't care how sensitive you think it makes you look, don't carry a hand bag. Guys with purses don't really create a whole lot attraction from us heterosexual women.
Good luck, gentlemen...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Help Needed In Catching Our Nation's Number One Serial Killer! ~by Legal Pub


It is time for all of you to step up and catch a serial killer. Why do you care? If you are a female, your odds of being a victim are one in three. If you are a male, your odds are one in two! Just last year alone, this killer claimed 500,000 lives! This serial killer is number one on the most wanted list but not enough is being done to end the slaughter. Let's round up a posse and develop an action plan now. It won't be easy, but with the help of bounty hunters, the public, politicians, the medical profession and all others, the number of victims of this serial killer can be reduced.


Reduced? How can we ever be content just to limit the number of victims when a serial killer is on the loose. No killer can be that elusive, or can they be?


How can we be so complacent? Because the serial killer is cancer and for some reason, folks are often too scared to do the right thing. While attempts to curb the serial killer known as "cancer" have made significant strides, steps have not gone far enough. Prior to his impeachment, President Nixon found time in 1971 to propose a national strategy to combat cancer. But what with the bombing of North Vietnam and the hide and seek games of Watergate, little was accomplished. Today, both cancer prevention and cures remain elusive. Furthermore, this is one case where overly optimistic views may actually hinder advancement of prevention, research and fundraising. Oh heck, why should I donate? After all, I don't even smoke. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).


While more than $200 billion has been spent on cancer research since 1971, the elusive serial killer remains for the most part uninhibited. Cancer threatens to afflict a growing number of Americans as our population ages. Not all news is bad. Cancer deaths have dropped around 16 percent since 1991. However, the percentage of people diagnosed with cancer has only decreased by approximately 1 percent annually since 1999. More than 500,000 Americans died of cancer in 2009. Half of all men and one-third of all women will be diagnosed with cancer during their life time. Cancer will soon be the No. 1 cause of death in the world. "The increasing numbers and aging of populations, in conjunction with the dissemination of Western patterns of smoking, diet and physical inactivity, are already creating a global health crisis for many chronic diseases, including cancer," according to the JAMA report.


Half of all cancer patients will die of the disease. Less tobacco use has decreased lung cancer which had reached epidemic proportions. But obesity continues to threaten a future cancer causing epidemic. "We know that obesity is a causative factor, and avoiding it is so critical in this ongoing war," say JAMA editors. 24 percent of Americans are now senior citizens. An aging population will likely lead to more victims of this serial killer. As our population changes, we need to identify, detain and ultimately end this serial killer's existence. Now who is ready to help?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Does China's Kingdom of Little People Exploit the Disadvantaged?


China is not real advanced when it comes to political correctness. While this is no Lollipopkins size complaint, it is still a serious matter for the Wizard of Oz of China. Specifically, a theme park in China puts dwarfs on public display. Kingdom of the Little People in China's Yunnan Province features a troupe of dwarfs who perform various skits including a "Swan Lake." Chen Mingjing, told The New York Times that he sees the park as a way to help more than 100 dwarfs. Photos

But China's Kingdom of the Little People is very controversial. For example, Gary Arnold thinks the Kingdom is "horrible." Others suggests that it segregates little people away from the rest of humanity. Yet Arnold, who stands slightly above 4 feet must recognize some positives. After all, this is a chance for the little people to meet and work with similarly situated folks. Maybe it will even lead to appearances in show business. "Little People, Big World."


Do little people celebrate or mourn on St. Patrick's Day,? Well, is the glass perceived as half empty or half full? Chris Fetterer is an example of someone who sees the glass as half full. Chris operates Tiny Entertainment, a party planning service based in Chino, California. They rent the use of short people to perform as leprechauns and elves at parties. At least 10 leprechaun impersonators will be rented out on St. Patrick's Day with an average cost of $200. That's more than what the Chinese entertainers are being paid. In the end, as Fettering says, "if the dwarfs are putting on a show, that's a good thing... But if they're just having people make fun of (the little people), it won't be a success."


In the end, whether such entertainment is a good or bad think ultimately depends upon the civility of the audience.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Student Bullying Will No Longer Be Tolerated By Juries Update 3-30-10 ~by Legal Pub




Student bullying is a problem. Teachers and administrators have a duty to help minimize the problem. Failure to take steps to combat bullying can result in some bad consequences. By now ever one has heard of Columbine High School where the picked on students took matters in their own hands with a horrible result. Perhaps a less well publicized consequence of failing to take action is financial responsibility. For example, a federal jury has ordered a Michigan school district to pay $800,000 to a student who was allegedly bullied. Dane Patterson, a pupil, filed a lawsuit claiming that district officials did nothing to stop years of bullying by other students. Patterson claimed he was subjected to constant harassment, some sexual in nature. The harassment allegedly occurred over an eight year period while a student in the Hudson Area Schools.




The Detroit Free Press correctly noted that the verdict is a clear message that the school district will be held accountable for student behavior that results from a failure to make reasonable efforts to halt systemic bullying. For more information, read: Detroit Free Press


.............





Update 3-12-10: Speaking of school related causes of action, a class action suit which alleges that college athletes should be compensated for the NCAA using their images to market products (including video games) is picking up steam. 11 ex-players have joined the lawsuit. A lawyer for former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon believes that the additional plaintiffs are "going to be a vivid illustration of the support among former student-athletes for no longer tolerating abuse by the N.C.A.A." (The lawsuit claims the NCAA violates federal antitrust laws by not compensating former athletes for the use of their images) While armatures can't receive compensation, former athletes do not have such a prohibition. For more information read: The New York Times


......






In a separate legal matter, child advocacy groups in Mississippi have filed suit against the state, for failing to provide to children community-based mental health services. The lack of such programs increase the likelihood that these children will become institutionalized. Plaintiffs claim that the dependency on institutions is forcing mentally ill children to leave their families and enter institutions. For more information read: The Jackson Clarion-Ledger

....

Finally, A high school student in Indiana claims his school's practice of allowing students to vote on whether to have a student-led prayer at graduation violates a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The lawsuit alleges that voting establishes a forum in the school for religious debate. A 2000 Supreme Court ruling barred students from reading a pray over the PA system at a Texas football game. For an interesting read: Indianapolis Star
...


Update 3-30-10: A fifteen year old girl killed herself. Now nine high school students in western Massachusetts are potentially facing criminal charges for allegedly bullying their classmate so relentlessly that she committed suicide. There is a question as to what teachers and school officials knew prior to the suicide. Teens indicted in alleged bullying death

Should someones daughter have to die before adults take action? Is it not time to teach children and adults that there are repercussion for their actions and for failure to take remedial action?
...


Update 5-28-10: Hazing and bullying is not unique to poverty stricken areas. Indiana has its fair share of the same issues that seem to plague this great nation. The family of a former Carmel High School freshman may have a valid lawsuit against Carmel Clay Schools. (A rich suburban city north of Indianpolis.) The potential litigation arises out of an alleged hazing incident on a team bus coming back from a basketball game in January of this year. A notice of torts claim has been filed prior to suit seeking 2.25 million dollars in damages. Allegedly, during a bus ride, three or four members of the varsity basketball team physically assaulted a freshman player. It is unclear whether any video tape surveillance of the alleged incident is available. (Four eighteen year-olds have been indicted by a grand jury.)


The district has already been sued over an unrelated incident where a bus driver allegedly allowed a female student to be bullied. Specifically, Edward and Sherri Zimmer sued the school district in August 2009 because a middle-school bus driver allegedly bullied their daughter in 2008. The Zimmers seek compensation for infliction of emotional distress. (They contend that the bus driver's alleged conduct harmed and endangered their daughter when another student was allowed to bully her.) The suit seeks compensatory damages along with a request for attorneys fees. The school district denies liability and video footage on the bus may support their defense. Trial is scheduled for 2011. LINK.
...


Update 8-24-10: An Ohio teens death has resulted in a law suit for alleged bullying. Dragan and Celija Vidovic believe the school district failed to recognize and stop the bullying which caused their 16-year-old daughter Sladjana to hang herself. LINK.
...
Update 2-21-11: Unjustly accusing someone of being a bully is also actionable. A former Virginia high school student has won a libel action against a Northfolk Newspaper. Specifically, the student was awarded a verdict against the Virginia Pilot which allegedly falsely accused him of bullying a fellow student. The newspaper is contesting the decision and will likely attempt to set aside the verdict.

Update 2-28-12: Bad news in Ohio. Bullying thought to play a role in the shooting by T.J. Lane. LINK.






Monday, March 8, 2010

Think Your Lawyer Is Mean? Compare Him To Maximillien Robespierre! ~by Jethro




Jethro: You might want to do an article about Maximilien Robespierre in your legal publication. The author of an article in Law Hall of Fame re lawyers is not too sympathetic to the subject; but his views are typical of US leaders and lawyers. His article says at the end: "Whatever his legacy, it was quite likely the most fantastic ride for a lawyer in the history of the world; one which, though drenched in blood, showed that a monarchy could be brought down and law-making powers given to the common people's elected body, a concept since much improved-upon but still forming the basis of government in modern democracies."





The author does not mention it but Robespierre was the first world leader to free the slaves and abolish slavery on February 4, 1794. This is more than 70 years before our 'Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery. Napoleon attempted to impose slavery initially with complicity of slave owner Thomas Jefferson. That all has something to do with Haiti's problems. Don't ask me to do an article as my views are very pro Robespierre and pro-Terror--not common among US lawyers, but I wonder about barristers and solicitors in other countries like Ireland. I am sure Robespierre was popular with the independence (IRA and other ) members.

Legal
Pub: Also shared the following:


ROBESPIERRE AND THE TERROR
In the midst of war abroad and severe economic crises at home, the French Revolution moved into a second phase after the King's death, which emphasized social equality and fraternity whereas the earliest years of the revolution accentuated liberty. Men and women from the working class, believing that they had received few benefits from the revolution, began to demand universal suffrage and participatory democracy. Eventually, Maximilien Robespierre, a lawyer from Arras, emerged as the head of the Jacobin Club when it gained control of the National Convention. When the National Convention conveyed power to the twelve member Committee of Public Safety, of which Robespierre was a member, he gradually assumed dictatorial control of the country... As head of the Committee of Public Safety, Robespierre attempted to rule "in the name of the people" by regulating the economy through the use of price controls and by allowing revolutionary tribunals to execute many individuals identified as traitors. His year of rule has consequently been called "the Reign of Terror," although Robespierre, himself, was personally opposed to the death penalty.
TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE AND THE SLAVE REVOLT
IN SAINT DOMINGUE
While many politicians and historians are now troubled about celebrating the French Revolution because of the violence of 1793 and 1794, Robespierre's Constitution of the Year III attempted to guarantee men and women the right to work, the right to eat and the right to public assistance if they could not work or eat. Robespierre's government reaffirmed the right of Protestants and Jews to citizenship in France and abolished slavery in 1794.
...The decision to abolish slavery was not uncontroversial. Many colonial interests opposed ending slavery, and Napoleon's armies lost many lives trying to reestablish it in the 1800s. Napoleon finally reestablished slavery in the French colonies in 1802, but Toussaint L'Ouverture and his slaves successfully achieved independence and formed the second republic in the Western Hemisphere in 1804 when they created modern-day Haiti and freed all slaves on the island. Several images portrayed revolutionaries extending the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen to freed slaves as one of the greatest promises of the revolution.
end of slavery (France=Robespierre)
URL= http://faculty.fullerton.edu/nfitch/history110b/rev.html


Legal Pub: Here is some more on Maximilien Robespierre that we were able to dig up from other sources:

Maximilien Robesierre lived from May 6, 1758 to July of 1794. This lawyer is best know as the "bad @ss lawyer" who played a major role in the French Revolution, which started in 1789. Maximilien brought into vogue the liberal use of death by guillotine without any substantive trial procedure. His hatred for the aristocrat began as early as July of 1775. As a young student, he won an oral contest for which he was to speak to the King, Louis XVI. As legend goes, the King refused to leave his carriage because it was raining. Derobespierre had to exit the auditorium and kneel in the rain while the king and Marie-Antoinette remained in their carriage for his speech.

Derobespierre studied at the Collège Louis-le-Grand. He earned his law degree in 1780. He became licensed to practice law in 1781. By March of 1782, he was a judge of the Episcopal Court in Arras. He was perceived as being vain. For example, after winning a case, he persuaded his client to pay for the transcript so he could distributed it to many public figures including Benjamin Franklin. At some point, he changed his surname from Derobespierre to Robespierre.
(Jethro suggest that he changed his surname from Derobespierre to Robespierre most likely and because the prefix "de" was considered to primarily be used by aristocrats or those who wished they were.)

As the French revolution approached, he openly opined that the government ought to be an unalienable right of the people, and not the Royal Family. At 30, he was elected to the Estates General. They became an independent body, the National Assembly. Robespierre belonged to the National Assembly when they passed the Declaration of the Rights of Man on August 26, 1789. (It was based on the American Bill of Rights.)



In June of 1791, Louis XVI was arrested. Robespierre was named as public prosecutor of Paris. Pending war with Austria, Louis XVI was convicted of treason. Robespierre sought the death penalty: "... Louis ought to perish rather than a hundred thousand virtuous citizens; Louis must die, so that the country may live."



Robespierre allowed ruthless state violence to prevail. He supported the Committee of Public Safety and the Revolutionary Tribunal. Both were known for violence. He led the Committee and its search to punish anyone suspected of anti-revolutionary thoughts. He became known for loving swift "justice" and a sharp guillotine. Robespierre wrote: "If virtue be the spring of a popular government in times of peace, the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror..." Robespierre favored punishment: "To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty."


In criminal procedure, he abolished the need for witnesses testimony before passing judgment.
The Loi des suspects (Law of Suspects) of September 17, 1793 made all nobles or aristocrats automatically enemies of the Revolution. Serial executions known as the
Reign of Terror lasted from October 1793 to Robespierre's death in July 1794. Among the executions was Queen Marie Antoinette on October 16, 1793. While he advocated democracy, the rich were executed just because of their wealth. 20,000 were guillotined in the name of the Revolution. No one was safe from summary conviction and the ensuing execution. For example, fellow lawyers Camille Desmoulins and Georges Jacques Danton were executed, foreshadowing things to come.


On July 27, 1794, Robespierre was accused of crimes against the state. His protests were shouted down. When cornered by soldiers, Robespierre allegedly pulled out a gun and tried to commit suicide. Other accounts say he was wounded by a soldier. Regardless, injured, he was thrown into a small jail cell. The next day he met his fate with the guillotine blade. Robespierre is seen by some as a father of modern government and democracy. Others contend he was a vicious sadistic terrorist. A monster or a virtuous martyr? Perhaps it mattered what side of the guillotine you were on execution day. Clearly he orchestrated the destruction of a monarchy and provided a blue print for common citizens to elect a governing body. But at what cost?


REFERENCES
Duhaime, Lloyd, Camille Desmoulins and Family, 1792
Carr, J. L., Robespierre: The Force of Circumstance (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1972).
Furet, F., La Révolution Française (Paris: Hachette Littératures, 1988)
Hibbert, C., The French Revolution (London: Penguin Books, 1980).
McGowen, T., Robespierre and the French Revolution (Aldershot: Enslow Publishers, 2000).
Original of painting of Robespierre's death held at the Musée de l'histoire vivant, Montreuil, France. ► The Law Museum ► Duhaime's Timetable of World Legal History ► The Law's Hall of Fame

Did Jacob Nodarse Kill The Kramer Family At The Request of Johnny Borizov Because Of A Child Custody Dispute? ~by Legal Pub


Jacob Nodarse, 23, of Countryside and Johnny Borizov, 28, of Willow Springs are accused of killing Jeffrey Kramer, 50, Lori Kramer, 48, and their son, Michael Kramer, 20 at their home in Darien, Illinois. A fourth person apparently survived by hiding in a bedroom closet. Jacob Nodarse and Johnny Borizov are being held without bail on murder charges.

Attorney Jeff Muntz will lead the prosecution in the Dupage County trial. Darien triple homicide
The exact motive has been the subject of much speculation. Suspect met with survivor's ex:
The most popular theory is that Borizov hired Nodarse to kill Jeffrey Kramer, Lori Kramer, and Michael. Jeff Muntz told Judge Terry Sheen that Nodarse and Borizov met to discuss the killings on Feb. 25. That same day Nodarse quit his job at a BMW and bought a gun. Why? It appears domestic conflict over a custody battle over a child born to Jeffrey and Lori Kramer's daughter, Angela. Borizov was the father of the child and developed a strong dislike of the Kramer family over the dispute. Nodarse was a friend of Borizov.

On March 2, while Borizov was at the Empress Casino in Joliet. Mean while, Nodarse apparently used a hammer to break into the Kramer's home. He first shot at Michael Kramer, who was sleeping on a couch with his 17-year-old girlfriend. Then he apparently shot and killed Jeffrey Kramer. Next Lori Kramer was murdered. Than he apparently finished off Michael who'd secured a knife. Michael's 17-year-old girlfriend escaped, as did Anthony Kramer but she successfully hid in the closet. Nodarse fled south. He apparently stopped in Terre Haute, Indiana to ditch a gun and his clothes. These items were found in an IHOP dumpster on U.S. 41 in Terre Haute. Nordarse called Borizov on a pre-paid cell phone after he had fled to Florida. But by the time he called, Borizov was already in Darien Police custody.

Since returning to Illinois, Nordarse allegedly gave a statement outlining the details of the murderers. But Borizov's attorney, Marc Wolfe, said there is nothing to link his client to the crime. Nodarse's attorney, Randy Rueckert was not present during Nodarse's alleged confession. Borizov is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, four counts of solicitation of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
Nordarse is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and four counts of solicitation to murder.

As is almost always the case, Among the true losers is Borizov's 13-month-old son. The violence arising from domestic squabbles concerning child custody is becoming an epidemic. LINK.
All suspects must be presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

High Level Of Cancer Causing Agents In Fish Oil?


Many people take fish oil supplements to get the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids. But is it really healthy? A California lawsuit filed by David Roe suggests that by taking some pills, consumers maybe ingesting chemicals banned in 1979. The lawsuit names five makers of supplements found to contain polychlorinated biphenyl compounds, drugstores CVS and Rite Aid, which sell those products, and Omega Protein Inc., of Houston, a large producer of omega-3 fish oil.
Suit is pending in San Francisco Superior Court contending Proposition 65 which requires consumers to be warned when products contain significant levels of toxic ingredients has been violated. Allegedly, some of the tested supplements exceed California's daily limit for PCBs by ten times according to Roe. (There is no set level for the risk of birth defects according to the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.)




Benson Chiles, director of the Coastal Ocean Coalition in New Jersey, warns, "Buyer beware."
The defendant manufacturers contest the results of the tests and insist that their products are safe. Twinlab's chief science officer, Greg Grochoski, said the two Twinlab Norwegian cod liver oils tested are safe because they are distilled to reduce impurities. (Twinlab products apparently were reported as having among the lowest levels of impurities among the products tested.)




The public relations firm of Porter Novelli responded for Pharmavite LLC. ,


They claim that Nature Made fish oil supplements comply with all federal laws as well as "the stringent industry standards" set by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.




All fish found in oceans and rivers contain at least trace amounts of PCBs. The question becomes at what level does it become unsafe? The tests attempted to measure PCBs in two ways. One way determines daily exposure to PCBs by looking at all 209 separate compounds in the PCB chemical family. The second way looks at toxicity based on the 12 most toxic compounds in the PCB family. Some supplements did better than others. For more information, consult: