Court Rules Against Mikovits

The infamous chronic fatigue syndrome researcher Judy Mikovits loses the first round of a civil suit filed against her by her former employer.

By | December 21, 2011

image: Court Rules Against Mikovits XMRVWikimedia Commons


Last month, the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI) filed a law suit against its former research director, Judy Mikovits, who led the widely discredited research identifying a link between a mouse retrovirus to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), for allegedly taking lab notebooks and documents from her computer that legally belonged to the institute. The first round of the case was heard yesterday by a Nevada court, and the judge ruled clearly in favor of WPI, upholding the institute’s claims and rejecting Mikovits’s replies. "It is so surprising," WPI attorney Ann Hall told ScienceInsider. It’s more common for a judge to provide a “point-by-point ruling on the merit of a defendant's answers to a compliant; striking the entire reply is quite unusual—an action the judge himself admitted he had never before taken in his 22 years on the bench.

Mikovits is also facing related criminal charges for possessing stolen property, and was jailed briefly in Ventura County, California, for leaving the state. After she returned to Reno, Nevada,  Mikovits did return some of the notebooks and a laptop, but WPI said that all the laptop files had been recently deleted. Furthermore, WPI attorney Ann Hall claimed that she only returned 18 of the 24 or so notebooks that documented experiments conducted between 2006 and 2009.

With the judgment in favor of WPI, the case will now turn its focus to damages, Hall told ScienceInsider. Whether or not WPI will ever receive the property it’s after remains to be seen, however.


Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Sex Differences in the Brain
    Features Sex Differences in the Brain

    How male and female brains diverge is a hotly debated topic, but the study of model organisms points to differences that cannot be ignored.

  2. Brain Gain
    Features Brain Gain

    Young neurons in the adult human brain are likely critical to its function.

  3. DNA Repair Pioneers Win Nobel
    Daily News DNA Repair Pioneers Win Nobel

    Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich, and Aziz Sancar have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work elucidating mechanisms of DNA repair.

  4. Antiparasite Drug Developers Win Nobel
    Daily News Antiparasite Drug Developers Win Nobel

    William Campbell, Satoshi Omura, and Youyou Tu have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in recognition of their contributions to antiparasitic drug development.

Life Technologies