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Cha vs. Flamm: The endless lawsuit

In yet another twist in an ongoing linkurl:legal battle,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54035/ a Los Angeles Superior Court judge yesterday (Jan. 24) reinstated a linkurl:defamation lawsuit;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53709/ filed by Kwang Yul Cha, a fertility researcher who published a controversial 2001 linkurl:study;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11584476&dopt=AbstractPlus linking in vitro fertilization success to prayer. The

By | January 25, 2008

In yet another twist in an ongoing linkurl:legal battle,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54035/ a Los Angeles Superior Court judge yesterday (Jan. 24) reinstated a linkurl:defamation lawsuit;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53709/ filed by Kwang Yul Cha, a fertility researcher who published a controversial 2001 linkurl:study;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11584476&dopt=AbstractPlus linking in vitro fertilization success to prayer. The judge reversed his decision to linkurl:throw out the case;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53876/ last November in response to a motion filed by University of California, Irvine professor Bruce Flamm, who has openly linkurl:criticized;http://www.obgynnews.com/article/PIIS0029743707702021/fulltext Cha's study since its publication. "The legal nightmare will now continue," Flamm wrote in an Email to __The Scientist__. Cha's privately owned healthcare group, CHA Health Systems, announced the judge's decision in a press release yesterday. "We're very pleased that the Court has reinstated Dr. Cha's claim," said Dr. Cha's attorney, Anthony Glassman, in the release. "We have always believed that the article was reasonably susceptible to a defamatory interpretation, and we look forward to letting a jury make that determination." Flamm, however, maintained that the lawsuit extends beyond the opinion piece at the root of Cha's lawsuit. "I am certain that this lawsuit is not really about defamation or the precise wording of one sentence in a brief opinion article," Flamm wrote. Instead, Flamm insisted, Cha's suit seeks to silence his criticism of Cha's "physic-defying 'miracle' study."
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Avatar of: Tony Knight

Tony Knight

Posts: 5

January 25, 2008

California Court Reinstates Dr. Kwang Yul Cha?s\nDefamation Lawsuit Against Dr. Bruce Flamm\n\nLos Angeles, CA ? January 24, 2006 ? A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge today reinstated Dr. Kwang Yul Cha?s defamation lawsuit against Dr. Bruce Flamm, reversing an earlier ruling that dismissed the suit under California?s Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) statute.\n\nThe lawsuit stems from an article Dr. Flamm wrote in the March/April 2007 edition of OB/GYN News in which Dr. Flamm claimed that Dr. Cha has been ?found guilty of fraud, deception and/or plagiarism.? \n\nDr. Cha?s lawsuit, filed in August 2007 states: ?Dr. Flamm knew at the time of the publication of the 2007 Article that Dr. Cha had never been found guilty of fraud, deception and/or plagiarism. Therefore, the Offending Statement was made with knowledge of its falsity and/or reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity. Thus Dr. Flamm acted willfully, maliciously and with the intent to injure Dr. Cha and destroy his reputation??\n\n ?We?re very pleased that the Court has reinstated Dr. Cha?s claim,? said Dr. Cha?s attorney, Anthony Glassman. ?We have always believed that the article was reasonably susceptible to a defamatory interpretation, and we look forward to letting a jury make that determination.?\n\nThe Court in November ruled in Dr. Flamm?s favor, dismissing the suit. Dr. Cha?s attorneys then filed a motion to vacate the decision based on new evidence and other arguments, which was granted today by the Court. \n\nDr. Cha?s lawsuit states that Dr. Flamm began a series of public accusations against Dr. Cha shortly after a paper co-authored by Dr. Cha was published in 2001 in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, reporting that of 219 women undergoing fertility treatments, the group that was prayed for anonymously was statistically more likely to become pregnant.\n\nWhen the study, "Does Prayer Influence the Success of In Vitro Fertilization-Embryo Transfer??, was published, the authors acknowledged the results seem incredible and said unknown biological factors may have played a role. "We are putting the results out there hoping to provoke discussion and see if anything can be learned from it.?\n\nDr. Flamm, who is reportedly on the advisory board of the lobbying group the Secular Coalition for America, called for the article to be retracted.\n\nBut the Journal of Reproductive Medicine has refused to retract the paper. Dr. Lawrence Devoe, the journal's editor-in-chief, has stated publicly "?in principle, if the study was done with the proper passage of study components through an IRB (Institutional Review Board), which there was in this case, and the data were properly analyzed, submitted, and reviewed ... there would be no reason to retract the article."\n\n?Dr. Flamm began his crusade against Dr. Cha shortly after the 2001 Paper was published, and has continued it with a fanaticism bordering on obsession,? the lawsuit states.\n\n-- Tony Knight, spokesman for Dr. Kwang Yul Cha. \n

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