We have received the following development in the recent legal action being taken against the American Psychiatric Association and other co-defendants in the United States.
American Psychiatric Assn. Praises
Ruling As Victory for Millions of Children and their Parents
SAN DIEGO, March 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In a victory for sound medicine and
free speech, a federal judge in California has dismissed a class-action
lawsuit claiming that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) conspired
with others to improperly broaden the diagnosis of Attention
Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
In a March 8 ruling, Senior U.S. District Judge Rudi Brewster said the
plaintiffs had failed to state a legally viable claim against the APA and
other defendants, and had produced no evidence to support their allegations.
In addition, the judge ruled that activities by defendants intended to
advance the medical understanding, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD were free
speech protected under California's anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against
Public Participation) statute.
"The ruling confirms that this lawsuit, and others like it, have no basis in
law or fact," said Dr. Steven M. Mirin, medical director for the APA, based
in Washington, D.C. "ADHD is a real disease that requires professional
diagnosis and treatment. This is a victory for parents seeking to act in the
best interests of their children."
The California lawsuit and similar suits filed in federal courts in Texas,
Florida and New Jersey claimed that APA had conspired with a patient support
group, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
(CHADD), and a pharmaceutical company, Novartis, to invent or exaggerate
ADHD as a disorder. APA was specifically accused of improperly broadening
the clinical diagnosis of ADHD in its authoritative Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
"There is no evidence to support these outrageous claims", said Mirin,
adding that he was "pleased, but not surprised" by the ruling. "The
existence of ADHD is based on a mountain of widely accepted scientific
evidence accumulated over decades of research, as well as clinical
experience from treating -- and helping -- millions of children," he said.
Specifically, the judge ruled that:
APA and the other defendants in the suit "have met their burden of
showing that the anti-SLAPP statute applies, because the speech at issue is
clearly speech protected under the United States and California
Constitutions in connection with a public issue."
The plaintiffs "failed to show misrepresentation of any material facts,
by whom any misrepresentations were made, when any misrepresentations were
made, and where any misrepresentations were made as required by the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure."
The complaint "fails to state a cause of action because of a number of
defects, including the absence of any allegations of causation, actionable
conduct or damage."
Judge Brewster said the plaintiffs could amend their complaint, but warned
that he would dismiss the case again unless the plaintiffs "could file a
legally proper complaint and come forward with sufficient evidence to