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In a strongly worded opinion, the Appeals Court for the State of Pennsylvania ruled against Stephen Barrett, a long-time critic of chiropractic and alternative health care. In an action that chiropractors see as a major setback for their nemesis, the judge refused to overturn a 2005 decision against Barrett.
The earlier lawsuit was won by chiropractor Tedd Koren, DC, whose company markets chiropractic educational pamphlets that Barrett had harshly criticized.
In his newsletter, Dr. Koren referred to the self-proclaimed "Quackbuster" as a "Quackpot" and commented that Barrett was "de-licensed," and "in trouble." Barrett sued Koren for defamation and lost the case.
Barrett, who represents himself as an expert on health care quackery, has appeared as a medical expert in numerous court cases and claims the FDA, FTC and other governmental agencies have consulted him on health care issues. He is noted for his outspoken opposition to and criticism of non-medical health care approaches, most of which he labels "quackery." His targets have included chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, and even two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling.
Heading the legal team for the original Koren case and appeal was Carlos Negrete, who serves as legal counsel for the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA).
"This is a great victory for the chiropractic profession," Koren stated after the Pennsylvania Appellate Court decision was announced. "Once again, chiropractors across the country have been vindicated and exposed the specious and evil attacks by someone who has no knowledge or expertise in our field."
Negrete specializes in representing alternative health care providers who are targeted by advocates of the medical and pharmaceutical industries. His previous court victories have positioned him as the premier "health freedom" attorney in the US.
During heated and often dramatic courtroom proceedings, Negrete pointed out many of the questionable statements Barrett includes on his websites attacking chiropractic, as well as facts about Barrett's own credentials that shocked even his supporters. Under Negrete's intense cross-examination, Barrett admitted that he had not been a licensed physician for more than a decade and had failed the neurological exam, preventing him from being certified as a specialist. Negrete demonstrated that, despite his claims, Barrett had no real expertise in any medical field.
Barrett also admitted, under questioning, that he misrepresented himself as a licensed physician in a previous court case.
"These revelations cast serious doubts about Barrett's credibility and integrity and were major factors in the judge's decision," Negrete stated.
Calling the case a "landmark decision" for chiropractors and alternative care providers, Negrete noted that "Barrett has made a career out of attacking core chiropractic values, specifically subluxation, with no scientific basis for his contentions. This case clearly shows that his opinions about chiropractic or other health care options are irrelevant."
WCA President Terry A. Rondberg, DC, agreed with Negrete. "This is a turning point not only for Barrett, but for all unscientific and uninformed opponents who seek to impose the medical monopoly on the public. People around the world deserve freedom of choice in health care and need valid, unbiased and truthful information on all options available to them. Thanks in great part to the WCA legal counsel, Carlos Negrete, they now have a better chance of getting both."
Last edited by Terry Glenn is a cowgirl; 07-02-2007 at 02:58 AM..
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