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ADD/ADHD News

February 28th 2002 - 21:00 GMT

Lawsuits Dismissed

We have recently heard that a number of lawsuits which had been brought against CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Novartis, the manufacturer of Ritalin, have been withdrawn.

It appears that Judges in various States in America have been criticising the complaints and have either dismissed these claims when they have come before them or the complainants have dropped the complaint before it reached the Court.

The reason given for the last case to be dropped on February 5th 2002 was that the complainant wished to drop the action rather than try to prove the various deficiencies within their complaint.

This is very good news not only for CHADD, APA and Novatis but for the implications these actions could have had on the ADHD community as a whole. Here in the UK we often get people who disbelieve that ADHD exists and who say that it is made up to make profit for medication manufacturers. These people obviously do not realise the impact ADHD has on the individuals life or that of their family and how medication can help the individual and the family to restore some sort of quality life.

We send our congratulations to CHADD in particular, the work they do via their support network is wonderful and the amount of people they have helped is huge.

Below is the press release from February 21, 2002 with details of the latest case and information from previous press releases about the other cases which have collapsed since March 2001

DISMISSAL OF NEW JERSEY LAWSUIT STRENGTHENS CHADD'S RESOLVE

New Jersey Plaintiffs Drop Lawsuit after Judge Criticizes Complaint

Landover, MD-The plaintiffs in a New Jersey class action lawsuit filed against Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Novartis, the manufacturer of Ritalin, quietly withdrew their lawsuit on February 5, 2002, rather than try to cure the deficiencies in their complaint identified by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Charles J. Walsh at a hearing on October 26, 2001.

"I am not surprised that the New Jersey plaintiffs chose to dismiss their lawsuit rather than try to cure the problems noted by Judge Walsh," said Gerald Zingone, legal counsel for CHADD. "Judge Walsh made it clear that he was highly skeptical of plaintiffs' allegations of conspiracy, and he also expressed concern that the plaintiffs' lawsuit was hampering CHADD's first amendment right to speak freely concerning Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and its treatment."

The New Jersey lawsuit was one of five class action lawsuits filed in 2000 against CHADD, the APA and Novartis alleging that CHADD conspired with Novartis and the APA to improperly broaden the diagnostic criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) thereby increasing Ritalin sales. Three of those lawsuits have now been voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs who filed them. The other two were dismissed by federal court judges after hearings on motions to dismiss filed by the defendants. One of those dismissals, of a case pending in California federal court, was appealed by the plaintiffs. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is set to hear argument on that appeal on March 6, 2002.

On March 9, 2001, Judge Rudi Brewster of the United States District Court in San Diego dismissed the lawsuit filed in his court, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to set forth any allegations to support their claims. Oral argument on plaintiffs' appeal of Judge Brewster's dismissal is scheduled for March 6, 2002, in The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

On May 17, 2001, Judge Hilda G. Tagle of the United States District Court in Brownsville, Texas, dismissed the lawsuit pending in her court, also finding that the plaintiffs in the Texas case had failed to come forward with even the most basic information to support their conspiracy allegations. The Texas plaintiffs did not appeal that dismissal.

On July 3, 2001, the plaintiffs in a similar action filed in Florida federal court quietly withdrew their lawsuit completely.

On August 16, 2001, the plaintiffs in Puerto Rico withdrew their complaint. Among other claims, plaintiffs alleged unspecified harm from Ritalin after receiving information from the CHADD website in 1993.

CHADD had no website until 1995.

"The baseless claims against CHADD through these lawsuits have not for one minute deterred us from our mission of serving individuals with AD/HD," said E. Clarke Ross, CHADD Chief Executive Officer. " Now, more than ever, we stand in an even stronger position to share with the public the evidence-based, science-based information so central to CHADD's mission." CHADD advocates a multi-modal approach to the treatment of AD/HD including parent training in diagnosis, treatment and specific behavior management techniques, an appropriate educational program, individual and family counseling when needed, and medication when required.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, attention, and in some cases, hyperactivity. AD/HD is a neurobiological disability that affects three-to-five percent of school-age children and approximately two-to-four percent of adults.

For more details of these lawsuits and reactions from CHADD visit their website at:

CHADD or you can email their spokesperson: Peg Nichols

for adders.org

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