Duty To Warn: Drug-Induced Iatrogenic Disorders – The Third Leading Cause Of Death In The US And Britain

Dr-Peter-Goetzsche

Duty To Warn: Drug-Induced Iatrogenic Disorders – The Third Leading Cause Of Death In The US And Britain
January 16, 2018
Duty to Warn

Drug-Induced Iatrogenic Disorders – The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US and Britain

By Gary G. Kohls, MD
https://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/duty-to-warn-drug-induced-iatrogenic-disorders-the-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-the-us-and-britain/

Definition of an “iatrogenic” disorder: A disorder inadvertently induced by a health caregiver because of a surgical, medical, drug or vaccine treatment or by a diagnostic procedure.

In last week’s column I wrote that iatrogenic disorders (a doctor-, drug-, vaccine-, surgery- or other medical treatment-caused disorder) were the third leading cause of death in the US. That revelation may have ruffled the feathers of some readers, particularly if they were employed in the medical professions, so I am enlarging on that statement in this week’s column.

In 2000, a commentary article was written by Dr Barbara Stanfield, MD, MPH. It was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, July 26, 2000—Vol 284, No. 4).

The article was titled “Is US Health Really the Best in the World? It has been posted at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/192908?redirect=true.

Statins
In the article, Stanfield included the following statistics from her research about iatrogenic deaths. (Note: these numbers do not include out-patient iatrogenic deaths):

• 12,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery in hospitals
• 7,000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals
• 20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals
• 80,000 deaths/year from nosocomial infections in hospitals
• 106,000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medications in hospitals

Combining these five groups gives us a total of 225,000 in-patient deaths. The 225,000 number does not include out-patient deaths or disabilities. In any case, this number easily constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer (see the official list for 2015 below).

The CDC’s Mortality and Morbidity Report for 2000, said that cancer caused 710,701 US deaths in 2000 and heart disease caused 553,080. For comparison purposes, the CDC’s report said that heart disease caused 606,401 deaths in 2017 and cancer caused 594,707.

Below are the US death statistics for 2015 (apparently the last year that the CDC has published the complete list).

1 Heart Disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 633,842

2 Cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 595,930

3 Chronic lower respiratory diseases . . . . . . . 155,041

4 Unintentional injuries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146,571

5 Cerebrovascular diseases . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140,323

6 Alzheimer’s disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110,561

7 Diabetes mellitus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …. . . . . .79,535

8 Influenza and pneumonia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57,062

9 Nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome . . . . . . . . . . . 49,959

10 Suicide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44,193

It is obvious that “Inpatient Iatrogenic Deaths” of 225,000 would easily come in 3rd, if the CDC would ever start collecting such data and publishing it as a separate category. Something fishy is going on, particularly in view of the fact that there have numerous requests that the CDC change its traditional data collection methods.

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One also wonders – if more accurate figures were available – if combining in-patient and out-patient iatrogenic deaths together (a rational approach) would cause heart and cancer deaths to drop to # 2 and # 3.

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One only has to consider tabulating psychiatric drug-induced suicides and homicides as iatrogenic; or logically regarding deaths from neuroleptic drug-induced diabetes and obesity to be classed as iatrogenic; or regarding the deaths from the aluminum-adjuvanted, vaccine-induced autoimmune diseases that cause so much morbidity and mortality as iatrogenic; or regarding a portion of the SIDS deaths at 2, 4 and 6 month of age, when infants are routinely injected with dangerous, untested-for-safety cocktails of mercury-containing, aluminum-adjuvanted and live virus-containing intramuscular vaccines as iatrogenic.

Or one could add in last year’s 50,000 opioid overdose deaths – most of which were prescribed by health caregivers but which were probably added to the “Accidental Death” category; or adding in the 50,000 heart attack deaths from Merck’s arthritis drug Vioxx (also iatrogenic deaths, but included in the “Heart Disease” category); or the premature chemotherapy drug-induced deaths that are invariably included in the “Cancer Death” category.

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And the list of potential iatrogenic deaths goes on and on.

A decade after her article was published (in a December 2009 interview), Dr Stanfield re-affirmed the veracity of her earlier data by saying:

“106,000 people die (annually, in US hospitals) as a result of CORRECTLY prescribed medicines…Overuse of a drug or inappropriate use of a drug would not fall under the category of ‘correctly’ prescribed. Therefore, people who die after ‘overuse’ or ‘inappropriate use’ would be IN ADDITION TO the 106,000 (these numbers do not count out-patients killed by prescription drugs!) and would fall into another or other categories.” – (https://therefusers.com/is-us-health-really-the-best-in-the-world-barbara-starfield-md-mph/)

And then there is the research done by Dr Peter Goetzsche.

Dr Peter Goetzsche

Dr Stanfield’s 2000 and 2009 statistics holds true for the UK and for Europe as well, according to the co-founder of The Cochrane Collaboration, Dr Peter Goetzsche. In his powerful 2013 book “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare.”

Dr Goetzsche boldly states that iatrogenic deaths should be listed as # 3 in both Europe and the US. In his 2015 companion book, Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial, Goetzsche makes the same points about psychiatric drug-induced deaths. Below are some quotes from his 2013 book, where he points out the many similarities between Big Pharma and the mob:

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“It is scary how many similarities there are between the drug industry and the mob. The mob makes obscene amounts of money…The side effects of organized crime are killings and deaths, and the side effects are the same in this industry. The mob bribes politicians and others, and so does this industry…

“Otherwise good citizens, when they are part of a corporate group, do things they otherwise wouldn’t do because the group…validate(s) what there’re doing as OK…

“The difference is that all these people in the drug industry look upon themselves as law-abiding citizens, not as citizens who would ever rob a bank. However, when they get together as a group and manage these corporations, something seems to happen. It’s almost like when soldiers commit war crime atrocities. When you’re in a group, it’s easy to do things you otherwise wouldn’t do.” – An unnamed whistle-blowing ex-vice president for Pfizer’s global marketing department.

“In contrast to the drug industry, doctors don’t harm their patients deliberately. And when they do cause harm, either accidentally, or because of the lack of knowledge, or by negligence, they harm only one patient at a time.”

“In the drug industry, bribery is routine and involves large amounts of money. Almost every type of person who can affect the interests of the industry has been bribed: doctors, hospital administrators, cabinet ministers, health inspectors, customs officers, tax assessors, drug registration officials, factory inspectors, pricing officials and political parties.”

“There seems to be no study too fragmented, no hypothesis too trivial, no literature citation too biased or too egoistical, no design too warped, no methodology too bungled, no presentation of results too inaccurate, too obscure, and too contradictory, no analysis too self-serving, no argument too circular, no conclusions too trifling or too unjustified, and no grammar and syntax too offensive for a paper to end up in print.” – Drummond Rennie, deputy editor of JAMA.

“What makes Big Pharma unique in the US is that it outspends all others in laying down cold hard cash into its lobbying efforts (another word for bribing governments that includes not only US Congress but its US federal regulator, the bought and sold Food and Drug Administration).” – Joachim Hagopian

“(As a drug rep) “it’s my job to figure out what a physician’s price is. For some it’s dinner at the finest restaurants, for others it’s enough convincing data to let them prescribe confidently and for others it’s my attention and friendship…but at the most basic level, everything is for sale and everything is an exchange.” – Retired Drug Sales Rep Shahram Ahari

“Before the approval process, the (Big Pharma-connected) sponsor sets up the clinical trial – the drug selected, and the dose and route of administration of the comparison drug (or placebo). Since the trial is designed to have one outcome, is it surprising that the comparison drug may be hobbled – given in the wrong dose, by the wrong method?

“The sponsor pays those who collect the evidence, doctors, and nurses, so is it surprising that in a dozen ways they influence results? All the results flow in to the sponsor, who analyses the evidence, drops what is inconvenient, and keeps it all secret – even from the trial physicians. The manufacturer deals out to the FDA bits of evidence, and pays the FDA (the judge) to keep it secret. Panels (the jury), usually paid consultant fees by the sponsors, decide on FDA approval, often lobbied for by paid grass-roots patient organizations who pack the court (the trick is called ‘astro-turfing’).

“If the trial, under these conditions, shows the drug works, the sponsors pay sub-contractors to write up the research and impart whatever spin they may; they pay ‘distinguished’ academics to add their names as ‘authors’ to give the enterprise credibility, and often publish in journals dependent on the sponsors for their existence.

“If the drug seems no good or harmful, the trial is buried and everyone is reminded of their confidentiality agreements. Unless the trial is set up in this way, the sponsor will refuse to back the trial, but even if it is set up as they wish, those same sponsors may suddenly walk away from it, leaving patients and their physicians high and dry.”

“We have a system where defendant, developers of evidence, police, judge, jury, and even court reporters are all induced to arrive at one conclusion in favour of the new drug.”

“More than 80 million prescriptions for psychiatric drugs are written in the UK every year. Not only are these drugs often entirely unnecessary and ineffective, but they can also turn patients into addicts, cause crippling side-effects – and kill.”

If any reader has any doubt about the veracity of the Stanfield and Goetzsche claims, below are a couple of other courageous researchers that have delved into the issue. In 2016, a group of Johns Hopkins medical school researchers, led by Dr Martin Makary, published supporting information in the British Medical Journal. (BMJ 2016; 353).

In the introduction of the publication, Makary and his co-authors wrote about how flawed is the CDC system of data collection and analysis:

“The annual list of the most common causes of death in the United States, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), informs public awareness and national research priorities each year. The list is created using death certificates filled out by physicians, funeral directors, medical examiners, and coroners.

“However, a major limitation of the death certificate is that it relies on assigning an International Classification of Disease (ICD) code to the cause of death. As a result, causes of death not associated with an ICD code (including many iatrogenic disorders), such as human and system factors, are not captured.

“…communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor judgment, and inadequate skill can directly result in patient harm and death. We analyzed the scientific literature on medical error to identify its contribution to US deaths in relation to causes listed by the CDC.

Death From Medical Care Itself

“Medical error has been defined as an unintended act (either of omission or commission) or one that does not achieve its intended outcome, the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended (an error of execution), the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim (an error of planning), or a deviation from the process of care that may or may not cause harm to the patient. Patient harm from medical error can occur at the individual or system level. The taxonomy of errors is expanding to better categorize preventable factors and events. We focus on preventable lethal events to highlight the scale of potential for improvement.”

Makary’s group published data that supports iatrogenic deaths as the # 3 cause of death.

In a 2016 open letter to the CDC, Makary’s group urged the agency to add medical errors to its annual list of common causes of death.

The letter said, in part:
“We are writing this letter to respectfully ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to change the way it collects our country’s national vital health statistics each year. The list of most common causes of death published is very important – it informs our country’s research and public health priorities each year. The current methodology used to generate the list has what we believe to be a serious limitation. As a result, the list has neglected to identify the third leading cause of death in the U.S. – medical error.”

As a partial defense of over-busy, over-booked, sometimes mentally and physically exhausted health caregivers in the US, another researcher, Dr John James, has published an article in the Journal of Patient Safety. Dr James makes similar claims urging the CDC to evaluate death statistics more logically.

The title of his 2013 article is “A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care”. (Journal of Patient Safety: September 2013 – Volume 9 – Issue 3 – p 122–128)

Below are excerpts from that article:
Objectives

Based on 1984 data developed from reviews of medical records of patients treated in New York hospitals, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimated that up to 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. The basis of this estimate is nearly 3 decades old; herein, an updated estimate is developed from modern studies published from 2008 to 2011.

Results

Using a weighted average of the 4 studies, a lower limit of 210,000 deaths per year was associated with preventable harm in hospitals…the true number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients was estimated at more than 400,000 per year. Serious (but non-lethal) harm seems to be 10- to 20-fold more common than lethal harm.

Conclusions

The epidemic of patient harm in hospitals must be taken more seriously if it is to be curtailed. Fully engaging patients and their advocates during hospital care, systematically seeking the patients’ voice in identifying harms, transparent accountability for harm, and intentional correction of root causes of harm will be necessary to accomplish this goal.

“Medical care in the United States is technically complex at the individual provider level, at the system level, and at the national level. The amount of new knowledge generated each year by clinical research that applies directly to patient care can easily overwhelm the individual physician trying to optimize the care of his patients.”

“Because of increased production demands, providers may be expected to give care in suboptimal working conditions, with decreased staff, and a shortage of physicians, which leads to fatigue and burnout. It should be no surprise that preventable adverse events that harm patients are frighteningly common in this highly technical, rapidly changing, and poorly integrated industry. The picture is further complicated by a lack of transparency and limited accountability for errors that harm patients.”

“There are at least 3 time-based categories of preventable adverse events recognized in patients that are or have been hospitalized. The broadest definition encompasses all unexpected and harmful experience that a patient encounters as a result of being in the care of a medical professional or system because high quality, evidence-based medical care was not delivered during hospitalization. The harmful outcomes may be realized immediately, delayed for days or months, or even delayed many years.”

“There was much debate after the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report about the accuracy of its estimates. In a sense, it does not matter whether the deaths of 100,000, 200,000 or 400,000 Americans each year are associated with PAEs in hospitals….one must hope that the present, evidence-based estimate of 400,000+ deaths per year will foster an outcry for overdue changes and increased vigilance in medical care to address the problem of harm to patients who come to a hospital seeking only to be healed.”

Dr. Kohls is a retired physician who practiced holistic, non-drug, mental health care for the last decade of his forty-year family practice career. He is a contributor to and an endorser of the efforts of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights and was a member of Mind Freedom International, the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

While running his independent clinic, he published over 400 issues of his Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter, which was emailed to a variety of subscribers. (They have not been archived at any website.) In the early 2000s, Dr Kohls taught a graduate level psychology course at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Itwas titled “The Science and Psychology of the Mind-Body Connection”.

Since his retirement, Dr Kohls has been writing a weekly column (titled “Duty to Warn”) for the Duluth Reader, an alternative newsweekly published in Duluth, Minnesota. He offers teaching seminars to the public and to healthcare professionals.

Many of Dr Kohls’ columns are archived at http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2; http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohls; or https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles

Florida Judge Takes Child From Parents and Decides the Best Treatment for Leukemia. How Long Before the Courts Decides Everyone’s Treatments for What Ails Them?

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(image from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/leukemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20374373)

State Takes Child from Parents for Treating Cancer With Cannabis, Forces Him to Take Chemo
Saturday, December 7, 2019 16:19

Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project
Waking Times

Parents of a 4-year-old Florida boy had their child taken away last month because they sought to treat his cancer in a holistic manner. A judge ruled the couple had placed their son in harm’s way after ceasing chemotherapy treatments for his leukemia.

Taylor Bland-Ball and Joshua McAdams had their parental rights taken away from them following the couple’s decision to seek a second opinion out of state. That decision led to the parents giving their son CBD and THC oil along with traditional chemotherapy treatments.

NBC News reports:

A Hillsborough County judge ordered that 3-year-old Noah McAdams continue to receive chemotherapy treatment at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital within the next 28 days, NBC affiliate WFLA in Tampa reports.

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Bland-Ball responded to the judges decision outside the Florida courtroom. She said, “we’re disappointed with the fact that they are moving forward with chemotherapy considering all the side effects that were brought up in court today, including death.”

It turns out, she’s right. A landmark study published in the United Kingdom detailed just how deadly chemotherapy can be, even within 30 days after its initial use. As TFTP reported, the chemotherapy often turned out to be deadlier than the patients’ cancers. In fact, some hospitals had a higher mortality rate than those in other cities, leading the researchers to question why such mortality discrepancies with chemotherapy existed.

Bland-ball and McAdams wanted to do more for their child and include cannabis as an alternative to chemotherapy and radiation, the universal standard treatments for cancer. It’s unclear precisely which cannabis medicine they wanted to give their son. Currently, the only FDA approved cannabis-based medicine is produced by GW Pharmaceuticals whose researchers are attacking some of the world’s deadliest cancers such as glioblastoma, a brain cancer which is almost always fatal and of which chemotherapy and radiation have little to no effect.

GW Pharmaceuticals’ 1:1 THC/CBD medicine was used in conjunction with a traditional chemotheraphy. The test results, according to GW Pharm hold promise. According to one of their recent studies conducted in the United Kingdom:

The study showed that patients with documented recurrent GBM treated with THC:CBD had an 83 percent one year survival rate compared with 53 percent for patients in the placebo cohort (p=0.042). Median survival for the THC:CBD group was greater than 550 days compared with 369 days in the placebo group.

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Patients given cannabis lived nearly twice as long as those who were not given cannabis as an alternative treatment. But the choice to give cannabis to Bland-Ball and McAdams’ child was taken from the parents and given to the State of Florida which has usurped not only the parents’ wishes but the current research being conducted using cannabis in conjunction with standard chemotherapy. Florida has now ordered the son to be given chemotherapy completely against the parents’ wishes.

In addition to being used to help kill cancer cells, cannabis also helps to mitigate nausea and pain while taking chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Bland-Ball and McAdams’ child will now have to take his chances with chemotherapy and wonder whether or not it will even work. With legal decisions being made by the state one must logically ask the serious question as to whether or not a day is coming when all decisions about one’s health can be taken away from the citizenry?

As an example of humans losing rights to states, take for example the subject of vaccinations in the State of New York. As TFTP has reported, parents are no longer allowed to even decide when, if, or which vaccines will be given to their children, making such universal declarations akin to 1984, George Orwell’s work on a dystopian future where people give up all rights to the government. The forced vaccination program may be eerily reminiscent to Nazi Germany with the government controlling all procreation/birthing/parenting/child-rearing decisions.

Enough is enough. The Police State in America has to be replaced with logical, common sense approaches to health and wellness. Fascist Big Pharma is now allowing the state to force feed its chemotherapy onto little children whose parents do not want the drug to be given to their kids. Shouldn’t an oncologist refuse to be an agent of the state in this matter? Where are the courageous physicians who will refuse to administer drugs to children whose parents object? Likewise, should parents be allowed to keep their children if they neglect life-saving medical treatment?

About the Author
Jack Burns writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.

Try This Sec

Michael Flynn’s Lawyers Claim Lisa Page Altered FBI Interview Record to Frame Him

Michael Flynn’s Lawyers Claim Lisa Page Altered FBI Interview Record to Frame Him

Lisa-Page-after-meeeting-lawmakers-Capitol-Hill-ap-640x480
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/25/michael-flynn-lawyers-accuse-fbi-of-laying-trap-withholding-evidence/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=daily&utm_campaign=20191025&utm_content=Final

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page leaves following an interview with lawmakers behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 13, 2018.
JOEL B. POLLAK
25 Oct 2019

Lawyers for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn reportedly filed a motion on Thursday in which they allege that the Department of Justice manipulated a document to frame their client and is withholding exculpatory evidence.
The apparent “sealed” filing, dated October 24, 2019, was posted to social media on Thursday evening.

US v Flynn; DE 129-2 by Techno Fog on Scribd

The filing by Flynn’s new legal team, which took over the case several weeks ago, argues that the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an “ambush-interview” of Flynn in the White House not to discover any evidence of criminal activity, but to coax him into making false statements.

When Flynn’s new lawyer Sidney Powell first made those allegations in September, prosecutors replied that she was indulging in “conspiracy theories” and noted his client had already pleaded guilty to the crime of lying to the FBI in 2017. Flynn has been awaiting sentencing since then, and even told the sentencing judge in 2018 that he would not claim FBI misconduct, despite growing evidence that they had departed from normal practice in interviewing him and had only completed their “302” — the report of their meeting — after he had already been forced to resign from his position in the administration over the allegations.

The new defense filing alleges that the government is refusing to turn over a mountain of potentially exculpatory evidence, some of which has begun to emerge in the media — either through leaks or through ongoing inquiries into the origins of the probe into alleged Russia “collusion” with the Trump campaign, later found not to exist.

That evidence, Flynn’s legal team alleges, includes an apparent admission by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page — who resigned after being discovered having an affair with agent Peter Strzok, with whom she shared anti-trump texts — that she had edited the 302 — something that she allegedly told FBI investigators she did not recall, the filing states.

The edits, the filing alleges, were substantive: they included a claim that Flynn said he did not discuss any sanctions with the Russian ambassador. Flynn’s lawyers allege he merely told the FBI he did not recall, and that the claim he said otherwise was added only after a transcript of his discussion with the ambassador had been leaked to the media.

In a footnote, the filing adds that former FBI general counsel James Baker “is believed to be the person who illegally leaked the transcript of Mr. Flynn’s calls to [Washington Post reporter David] Ignatius.” It also alleges that former National Intelligence Director James Clapper told Ignatius to “take the kill shot on Flynn.”

The filing emerged hours after reports that the Department of Justice had shifted its investigation of the origins of the Russia probe to become a criminal investigation under the supervision of prosecutor John H. Durham.

Flynn was subject to surveillance — allegedly in response to claims that he might have violated the Logan Act, an archaic and rarely-enforced law barring private citizens from diplomacy — during President-elect Donald Trump’s transition to office. Flynn’s name was then unmasked in the transcript of his telephone conversation with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which was then leaked illegally.

Flynn’s subsequent prosecution for lying to the FBI was key to the “Russia collusion” theory, later found to have no substance after a lengthy investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that took nearly two years to complete.

Critics have alleged that Mueller may have induced Flynn to plead guilty by suggesting that the government had more evidence of “Russia collusion” than it actually did.

This story is developing.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

I Don’t Think They Ever Even Looked for Richard Merritt, While the Victims That Testified Against Him Remain in Fear

Richard-Merritt-via-Fox-5-Atlanta

Ex-Lawyer Supposed to Be In Prison for Cheating Clients, But Now He’s Wanted in His Mom’s Murder
by Alberto Luperon | 5:51 pm, February 3rd, 2019

Disbarred lawyer Richard Merritt, 44, was due in prison Friday for swindling his clients. Yet it’s two days later and he’s now wanted for allegedly killing his mother. Cops in Dekalb County, Georgia said that officers responded to a local home on Saturday morning regarding a dead person, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They found Shirley Merritt was fatally stabbed. Cops blame this on her son.

Cops said Richard Merritt might be driving his mom’s brown 2009 Lexus RX350. It features the Georgia license plate CBV6004.

The suspect shouldn’t even be out, whether or not there was a murder. The suspect was convicted of settling lawsuits without clients’ knowledge, and keeping the cash. He was sentenced last month to 15 years in prison, to be followed by an equally long stint on probation. Prosecutors say he took advantage of the elderly, and those alleging medical malpractice. This scheme affected 17 former clients. He’d lie to them about the settlements, and claim their cases were ongoing, authorities said. Prosecutors claim he forged their signatures and checks, and notary seals.

Merritt surrendered his law license last year. From the Supreme Court of Georgia in a filing dated January 29, 2018:

In his petition, Merritt, who has been a member of the Bar since 2000, admits that in February 2017 he settled a client’s personal injury matter for $75,000, but failed to promptly disburse those funds to his client or her medical providers and failed to render a full accounting of the funds to his client.

The judge in his sentencing gave him time to prepare for prison, and turn himself in by 5 p.m. on February 1. The defendant had to deal with what was described as family medical issues before serving his sentence, according to a Fox 5 Atlanta story.

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Georgia: Disbarred Lawyer Richard Merritt Jailed on Theft, Elder Abuse Charges
http://www.barcomplaint.com/attorney-theft/georgia-disbarred-lawyer-richard-merritt-jailed-on-theft-elder-abuse-charges/

The problems of Richard Merritt have come to a head with his arrest. This has been long coming has his behavior has been in question for several years.
Georgia: Disbarred Lawyer Richard Merritt Jailed on Theft, Elder Abuse Charges
Attorney Richard Merritt was disbarred Monday for pocketing a client’s $75,000 settlement and jailed Wednesday on multiple felonies.

Richard Vinson Merritt

Former Smyrna attorney Richard V. Merritt, who was disbarred Monday after admitting to settling a client’s suit for $75,000 and then pocketing the money, woke up in the Cobb County Jail Thursday after being arrested on separate felony elder abuse, theft, exploitation and check fraud charges.

The spokesperson for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office said he had no further information on the charges, which were apparently filed by the Smyrna Police Department. The booking report includes a notation that Merritt is to be held for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, where a press liaison said they received a bench warrant for “indirect criminal attempt.”

He provided no further information, and there was no immediate response from Smyrna police.

On Friday, Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said there was little he could offer concerning Merritt’s case so far.

“We have yet to receive the complete investigative file from the Cobb Sheriff’s Department,” said Reynolds via email. “When we do, our White Collar Unit will begin the process of determining what charges we will proceed to the grand jury with. In addition, our Investigators will begin reviewing the file upon receipt to see if there are any additional victims or charges which need to be pursued.”

Merritt remained in jail on Friday afternoon.

Merritt is the subject of multiple civil suits in Cobb County, including one filed by a woman who claims he forged her name on a $150,000 settlement agreement and check without her knowledge. She claims Merritt never turned over any funds.

He also faces several legal malpractice and fraud lawsuits in Cobb County from clients claiming he agreed to handle their cases and then never filed them and never pursued any actions.

Merritt has represented himself in each of the lawsuits.

The attorney for a plaintiff in one case, Sapp & Moriarty partner Daniel Moriarty—interviewed before word of Merritt’s arrest was known—said he was surprised at the mild tone in the state Supreme Court’s disbarment opinion, which only said Merritt “settled a client’s personal injury matter for $75,000 but failed to promptly disburse those funds to his client or her medical providers and failed to render a full accounting of the funds to his client.”

“That’s a euphemism for stealing money,” said Moriarty. “I talked to an investigator who has seen his bank records and determined that he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars. It just blows my mind what he’s gotten away with.”

According the bar complaint reviewed by the Daily Report, Merritt was retained to handle a personal injury matter in December 2016 and settled it last February, cashing the forged check Feb.7. On Feb. 10, he filed a lawsuit “and continued to lead me on until late May 2017 when I learned what he had done,” the confidential complaint said.

“I have never seen a dime of the $75,000,” said Merritt’s former client.

Another civil suit filed in Cobb County State Court last year said Merritt forged a husband and wife’s signature on a settlement and check in a medical malpractice case and never told them.

Another complaint said Merritt accepted a med-mal case and continually told his client that he was investigating it. Merritt sent emails saying “All is well and we are moving forward on your case,” and “No worries I’m on it!”

Then he stopped accepting the woman’s calls, and the filing deadline passed.

In that case, Judge Maria Golick struck Merritt’s answers and ordered a damages-only trial after finding he “willfully failed to respond” to hearing notices. Golick scheduled a show-cause criminal contempt hearing, and the decision is apparently still under advisement, according to court records.

In the case Moriarty is handling, Merritt also allegedly claimed to be conducting discovery and searching for experts, even scheduling bogus depositions for his clients, only to cancel them at the last minute.

Merritt was the principal for the Smyrna-based Merritt Firm, whose offices were the subject of several dispossessory actions between 2015 and 2017, according to court records.

Last August, Merritt sued two attorneys on behalf of spine surgeon and frequent medical expert James Chappuis. At the time, Merritt said he vice president and general counsel of Chappuis’ Orthopaedic & Spine Surgery of Atlanta.

That case settled confidentially shortly after it was filed.

Source: Professional Legal Blog
Doctor Claims Patient, Lawyers Stiffed Him After Winning $700K at Trial
The doctor, who claims he’s owed more than $200,000, also testified as an expert witness at his patient’s trial.

An Atlanta spine surgeon who sometimes works as an expert witness in personal injury cases has sued a former patient and his lawyers, claiming they stiffed him on $200,000 in medical bills after netting a $700,000 jury award.

The complaint filed Monday by Dr. James Chappuis, founder and CEO of Orthopaedic & Spine Surgery of Atlanta, said he’s owed $205,323 for more than two years of treatment provided to Shin Cho. Chappuis also testified as an expert witness at Cho’s trial.

The complaint was filed by the surgery’s vice president and general counsel, Richard Merritt, and named Cho as well as his attorneys in the personal injury action, James Rice Jr. and Thomas Schaefer.

It accuses Cho of using “pressure and misrepresentation” to convince a clinic staffer to accept just $7,500 as full payment of the debt and said the lawyers paid themselves and disbursed Cho’s net award from their trust account despite knowing Chappuis was still owed.

Even the debt Cho purportedly satisfied was “erroneous” and allegedly constituted less than a quarter of the actual sum owed to the doctor, according to the complaint.

Rice denied the suit’s allegations, pointing to a May 31 letter from Chappuis’ practice, saying Cho’s $7,500 payment satisfied his “current outstanding patient balance of $43,871.01.”

“Shortly after they sent that, they contacted us to say there was a ‘bookkeeping error’ and that Mr. Cho owed more than $205,000,” Rice said. “I retained outside counsel to get advice on what to do, and we told their office we were going to disburse the funds in two weeks, and that’s what we did.”

“I also contacted the Georgia bar, and they confirmed that that was the proper way to handle it, so we did all our due diligence before we distributed the money,” Rice said.

Rice said the doctor and his practice were already paid more than $100,000 by Cho’s insurer, and “Mr. Cho candidly feels that he doesn’t owe them anything.”

Schaefer said he was out of town and had not had a chance to review the complaint but was “not really sure why I’ve been named as a party.”

“Our official quote is that we stand by the complaint as drafted,” said Merritt, declining to discuss the case further.

On May 22, Cho was awarded $700,000 for claims that he developed back pain following a minor car wreck in Gwinnett County.

Rice told the Daily Report at the time that Cho drove away from the scene. He argued Cho, who already suffered at least three previous back injuries, was an “eggshell plaintiff” for whom even a low-impact wreck was dangerous.

Last year, Cho signed a “letter of protection” with Chappuis and his practice, agreeing to pay or have his attorneys pay “all outstanding medical bills” from funds accruing from the legal action, the complaint said.

The lawyers had previously worked with Chappuis on other cases and “knew the critical importance of the medical care being provided by [Chappuis], as it related to satisfying the burden of proof in proving causation and damages, and in the effectiveness of Plaintiff Chappuis’ testimony, as both a treating physician and a medical expert,” according to the complaint.

In fact, Rice sent Chappuis a congratulatory text message after the trial, saying the jury “liked you a lot and coming across as objective helped,” while they did not “buy” the defense expert’s “nonsense.”

But on May 31, Cho went to Orthopaedic & Spine Surgery’s main office and “through deliberate pressure and misrepresentation of the facts, convinced a clerical employee to accept $7,500 in satisfaction and payment in full of an alleged $43,871.01, which was erroneous, as the amount due and owing is $205,323.70,” according to the complaint.

The complaint said that, on June 17, Chappuis’ attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to Rice “specifically instructing him not to disburse any funds” until he and his practice had been paid. On June 30 a satisfaction of judgment was filed with the court, but Rice and Schaefer “intentionally disregarded their obligation to compensate” the plaintiffs.

The suit, filed Aug. 21, names Cho, Rice, Schaefer and the lawyers’ practices as defendants, and includes counts for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.

Rice said it is “unfortunate that the plaintiffs have chosen to bring both my firm and Mr. Shaefer’s firm into a matter that is moot,” and is also moot regarding Cho.

“To say the least, the lawsuit is disappointing, but in any event we will vigorously defend it, including seeking fees and costs,” Rice said.

Source: Daily Report

Name Of The Attorney: Attorney Richard Merritt
Name Of The Law Firm: Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds
State: Georgia
xyz_fbap: 1

Ex-wife of Georgia lawyer fears for her safety after he allegedly killed his mother

190211-jenine-merritt-richard-merritt-cs-259p-949dfa65a7dfe1c5b8
“We’re tired of looking over our shoulder and we’re looking for closure and to move on with our lives,” Jenine Merritt says of herself and their two children.
Feb. 11, 2019, 4:56 PM EST
By Janelle Griffith
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/after-georgia-lawyer-allegedly-killed-his-mother-ex-wife-fears-n970281

The former wife of a disbarred Georgia attorney who allegedly stabbed his mother to death said she is scared for her and her children’s safety.

A nationwide manhunt is underway for Richard Merritt, who police said removed his court-ordered ankle monitor before allegedly killing his mother Feb. 2 and stealing her 2009 silver Lexus. He has been on the run since, according to DeKalb County police.
Image: Richard Merritt and his ex-wife, Jenine.
Richard Merritt and his ex-wife, Jenine.Courtesy of Jenine Merritt

“We’re terrified,” Jenine Merritt told NBC News on Monday, referring to herself and their two children, who are 12 and 14. “We’re terrified because of what we know he’s capable of now.”

Richard Merritt, 44, was scheduled to surrender to authorities Feb. 1 in Cobb County, after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars and 15 years on probation for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly clients between 2014 and 2017. After the conviction, he had been given until Feb. 1 to “get his affairs in order.”

On the eve of the date he was supposed to report to jail, Jenine Merritt said he threatened her life in a late-night phone call.

He was “clearly drunk,” she said, saying her ex-husband “is a serious alcoholic.”

Richard Merritt was verbally abusive on a regular basis, but had never before physically threatened her, she said.

The Merritts divorced in 2018 after 19 years of marriage.

Jenine Merritt added that she is “horrified” by the death of her former mother-in-law, Shirley Merritt, describing her as “a good mother and grandmother.”

“That part does not feel real to us,” she said. “And maybe, once we move on to the point where we’re not scared for our safety, we can really begin the grieving process, which we need to do.”
190211-shirley-merritt-cs-301p-949dfa65a7dfe1c5b80a4a16a46f2e6e
Image: Shirley Merritt
Shirley Merritt Courtesy of Jenine Merritt

Richard Merritt is now the subject of a nationwide search, Frank Lempka, an inspector with the U.S. Marshals Service, said.
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He may have shaved his head in an attempt to change his appearance and should be considered armed and dangerous, the Marshals Service said. The agency is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest.

Richard Merritt filed multiple medical malpractice claims for his clients and later admitted in court that he pocketed much of what they had won. He used the settlements on personal expenses including vacations, authorities said.

“We lost our home, we lost everything we had,” Jenine Merritt said of her ex-husband’s conviction. “I had no idea that he had done these things to these poor people that trusted him and needed him.”

She also said she had no idea her then-husband was paying for their vacations with stolen money and would not have participated if she had known.

She believes it is only a matter of time before he is caught.

“We’re tired of looking over our shoulder, and we’re looking for closure and to move on with our lives,” she said.

I have a problem with all this. He and his wife divorced to tie up the money Rich had been stealing. She still has money from the people Rich stole the money from.
And since when does someone go and cut off the ankle monitor? The story that I heard was that after he killed his mom, he went to Cartersville and cut the ankle monitor off and hopped on a plane at the Cartersville airport (very small airport). That’s just what I heard.
I also can’t imagine why he was still out walking around anyway.
The other thing that I heard was that Rich and the Cobb County DA were really good friends.
One thing that is fact for sure, Rich Merritt was asst attorney general in GA for about 15 years, thus why he had so many friends in the legal world. The victims were afraid that he would get no time for his crimes. Everyone was shocked at the stiff sentence he got. They give murderers that length of time.
No matter, they obviously had not planned on Rich killing his Mama…

New York’s Lawyers and Judges Behaving Badly, From New York Law Journal

https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/12/30/lawyers-judges-behaving-badly/
Tara-Lenich-Article-201612051956
Tara Lenich, admitted to forging judicial orders to run illegal wiretaps on a fellow prosecutor and a New York City Police Detective, sentenced to one year in prison in early 2018.

Edmund-Duffy
Edmund Duffy’s five-decade legal career, during which he rose to prominence as the former heard of the China practice at Skadden, officially ended 02/08/2018, when he was automatically disbarred after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

AP-Robert-Cicale-web
A Suffolk County District Court Judge was suspended from the bench after he was arrested and charged with burglary. He was caught with women’s underwear that he allegedly stole from a private residence.

Evan-Greebel-Article-201710202147
Evan Greebel, a former partner at Kaye Scholer and Katten Muchin Rosenman, was sent to prison for working with disgraced pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli to defraud investors.

ravelo-keila-Article-201810091948
Keila Ravelo was sentenced to five years for conspiring to defraud her former law firms and clients out of $7.8 Million, using bogus litigation vendors. Prosecutors said that the former Hunton & Williams and Willkie Farr & Gallagher partner used the money to fuel a lavish lifestyle.

Frank-Aquila-Article-201809281858
Prominent M&A partner Frank Aquila deleted his Twitter account after tellling White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders she should “Rot in Hell You Bitch” for defending Sen. Lindsey Graham amid the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Aaron-Schlossberg-Article-201805171926
Manhattan attorney Aaron Schlossberg’s rant against employees speaking Spanish at a Mexican Restaurant provoked a firestorm on social media.

Anna-Lushchinskaya-Article-201812142118
Another viral video captured a second New York City lawyer who directed racially charged comments at bystanders.

Gavel-and-Book-Article-201710162142
“Egragious and outragesou” conduct by ex-Mintz Levin associate Anthony Jacob Zappin during his pro se legal war with his former wife, also an attorney, led to his disbarment.

Judicial-Robe-Article-201712011528
New York’s high court unanimously said that Civil Court Judge Terrence O’Connor’s “intemparate” and “inappropriate” behavior in the courtroom were bad enough, but his decision to not cooperate with an investigation into his actions also contributed to his removal from the bench.

The entire West Virginia Supreme Court was just impeached. By True Pundit


The entire West Virginia Supreme Court was just impeached. Here’s everything you need to know.
By Editor August 15, 2018 No Comments
http://www.theeventchronicle.com/news/north-america/the-entire-west-virginia-supreme-court-was-just-impeached-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/
By True Pundit

West Virginia lawmakers made a historic decision Monday: They voted to impeach the state’s entire Supreme Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state.

The West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee approved 14 articles of impeachment against the court’s four sitting justices last week. Their alleged grievances ranged from misusing taxpayer money for office renovations to using state-owned property, including a historic desk, for personal use.

The full House of Delegates considered the articles of impeachment on Monday, ultimately approving 11 of them through a series of votes that fell along party lines, the New York Times reported.

Eight of the articles targeted the court’s chief justice, Allen Loughry, who, according to the Times, has been suspended since June. Among other accusations, he is accused of lying to lawmakers and using state property for his personal use, including vehicles and gas cards.

The remaining justices — acting Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justices Robin Davis and Elizabeth Walker — were impeached on three articles. Workman and Davis were impeached for overpaying senior status judges on lower courts, while Davis was impeached for misusing $500,000 in taxpayer funds on office renovations.

All four justices were charged with neglect of duty, abusing their power, and failing to reign in the spending of the others, according to NBC News.

The court’s fifth justice, Menis Ketchum, resigned last month before impeachment proceedings began. He has also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of defrauding the state of West Virginia. He faces 20 years in federal prison.

Meanwhile, Loughry, who was already on administrative leave prior to Monday’s developments, is facing a 22-count federal indictment for fraud, witness tampering, lying to federal investigators, and obstruction of justice. His criminal trial is set to begin in October. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of 395 years in prison and a $5.5 million fine. – READ MORE

West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael claims the Republican party is responsible for the state’s economic turnaround and believes the election of President Donald Trump has only added to their prosperity.

“For the first time in over 83 years the people of over West Virginia selected the Republicans to lead the state in 2014,” Carmichael told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Both houses have been Democrat for 83 years and that leadership brought us the lowest income per capita in the country.”

Carmichael blamed Democratic leadership for a loss in population and manufacturing jobs, then accused them of selling out to special interest groups.

Carmichael then praised Trump’s leadership and said the state was economically liberated when he was elected to the White House in 2016.

“Trump was an immediate relief to the energy sector,” Carmichael declared. “The night of the election it felt like the boot of the fed government had been lifted off our necks. President Trump has made a tremendous difference.”

One of the main issues still lingering for West Virginia is the opioid crisis, but Carmichael believes it can be tied to the state’s lack of economic prosperity.

“The most prominent area of opioid abuse are the places with the poorest economic climate,” he said. “Even in West Virginia, the specific areas hardest hit with addiction are the ones hardest hit economically with high unemployment.” – READ MORE

This article (The entire West Virginia Supreme Court was just impeached. Here’s everything you need to know.) was originally published on True Pundit and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.