|Homeopaths Now "Own" the Quackbusters...|
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
A few years ago a couple of quackpots strutted into a courtroom (or two) in Los Angeles, California fully intending to "end, for all time, alternative health practices" in California, by using California's Business & Professions Code section 17200 (fraud in advertising).
Over forty cutting edge supplement companies were brutally sued by the Braintree, Massachusetts based National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) who, in court documents, made some of the weirdest, and most wild-eyed, legal claims, possibly ever heard in the California Court System.
In the first case that came to court, the NCAHF v. King Bio case, the quackbusters pulled out all the stops, and brought in their two TOP people, Stephen Barrett and Wallace Sampson, to testify, hoping, I suppose, to set the stage for the other defendants to cave in, get out their checkbooks, and write big-denomination numbers to get the quackbusters off their backs.
Yep, the quackbusters, I believe, saw that lawsuit series as the way to refill their dwindling coffers, get themselves some real money in "expert witness" fees, and hammer AltMed in a big way....
Well, as you may remember, it didn't work out quite like they hoped. Barrett, Sampson and the NCAHF limped out of the courtroom, having suffered everything a Judge can give, short of a fist-in-the-mouth. The quackbusters were humiliated that day, big time, and I was right there to write about it.
Of course, the NCAHF filed an appeal. Humiliation doesn't sit well with them, I think (insert laughter here)..
Even better, was the wording in the three Judge Appeals Court decision which said that, among a laundry list of criticisms, Barrett and Sampson were "biased, and unworthy of credibility..." The Appeals court decision was so anti-quackbuster in its viewpoint it looked like I, Tim Bolen, wrote it for them...
Not learning their lesson, the NCAHF sued a second group of Homeopathic manufacturers - and this case not only caused more humiliation for the quackpots, but he Court did one additional thing... The Courts awarded attorney fees to the Defendant homeopathic companies so brutally, and unjustly attacked by the NCAHF.
This is where the story gets REALLY interesting, for the NCAHF is so poor its Corporate Office is in a cardboard box in the back room of its current president (Bobbie Baratz)'s hair removal and ear piercing salon in Braintree, Massachusetts.
There were two interesting points, and legal arguments, about the attorney fee situation. The courts had to decide, basically, how much the NCAHF owed the Homeopaths. The quackbusters, in a shrieking panic, appealed the Court's attorney fee award. The quackbuster's usual lack of doing competent research into something had, this time, caught up with them. They now owe the Homeopaths a BIG chunk of money.
The Court awarded attorney fees in the amount of $100,000.00...
How, exactly do you think the NCAHF cardboard box operation is going to come up with a hundred grand, considering their fund-raising efforts are so pathetic they offered an out-of-focus picture of me, Tim Bolen, as an inducement to contribution, not so long ago.
Go ahead and belly-laugh, right here, at their expense. They deserve it.
What, considering the NCAHF's lack of financial solidity, can the Homeopaths do to recover their legal expenses awarded them by the Courts? A lot...
My recommendation is that they do three things (1) pursue the individual NCAHF Board members for the money, (2) pursue the attorney the NCAHF used for the money, and (3) TAKE the NCAHF away from the quackbusters, and put it on the auction block. (4) A combination of the first three.
Right this minute, I'll bid $500, cold cash, for the rights to the NCAHF. Can you imagine what fun I'd have with their corporate papers, their membership lists, and their financial contribution records?
There is Justice in the world...