The following announcement has just been released by the DK Law Group in Thousand Oaks, CA
We are pleased to advise of significant positive developments in the litigation against the ECT device manufacturers. As a result of the manufacturers’ failure to comply with FDA regulations and failure to advise of known or knowable risks associated with the administration of ECT, liability can now be established to hold the manufacturers accountable for failing to warn of cognitive impairment and brain damage following ECT.
After a year of rigorous litigation in California, multiple motions to dismiss and a lot of support from remarkable experts assembled from across the country, we are pleased to report that ECT Plaintiffs successfully defeated the last available defense motion for summary judgment. As a result, the most recent litigation was cleared to proceed to trial in the Los Angeles Federal Court. Defendants last efforts to strike Plaintiffs’ experts on “Daubert” challenges were all denied by the Court, deeming Plaintiffs team of experts notably “reliable and relevant” to provide their compelling testimony of brain damage caused by ECT at trial.
The Court effectively ruled as follows in denying the Defense Summary Judgment:
- A reasonable jury could find that the ECT device manufacturer failed to warn plaintiffs’ treating physicians of brain damage resulting from ECT, leading to the oft-reported and acknowledged symptoms of permanent memory loss and cognitive impairment.
- A reasonable jury could find that the ECT device manufacturer was in violation of the relevant federal regulations.
- A reasonable jury could find that Plaintiffs suffered brain damage as a result of ECT.
- A reasonable jury could find that the ECT device manufacturer caused Plaintiffs’ brain damage through failure to warn their treating physicians of brain injury, or alternatively by failing to investigate and report allegations of brain damage and permanent memory loss to the FDA, so that information would be available to the public.
The evidence secured in the pending litigation has demonstrably reflected that FDA regulations have been blatantly ignored. The duty to “investigate and report” allegations of “serious injury or death” by the manufacturer has resulted in ZERO reported adverse events for over four decades, demonstrating a conscious disregard to comply with reporting obligations.
An assembled cast of accomplished experts in the industry all stepped up to support the ECT Plaintiffs. Including the single most compelling and critical ECT Psychiatrist in the country, the ex-Director of the FDA; the author of the ECT FDA Citizen Petition; and the preeminent NASA/JPL electrical engineer, Plaintiffs were surrounded by some of the greatest experts anywhere — all testifying on behalf of these Plaintiffs that violations of law occurred and establishing that brain injuries were and are caused by ECT.
Nonetheless, throughout the litigation the defense for the manufacturer continued to shirk its responsibility, refusing to acknowledge the flagrant violations in FDA reporting requirements that were at the root of this litigation. Despite decades of complaints of cognitive impairment and disability following ECT, the evidence amassed demonstrated ZERO adverse event reporting on the FDA’s MAUDE database by the Defendant as of the date suit was filed.
While the manufacturers have sought to ignore it for decades, brain damage is the reason now being demonstrated as the cause for the cognitive impairment and memory loss that results after the administration of electroconvulsive shock therapy. All ECT patients are entitled to a warning of that undeniable fact. If that warning is not supplied and an ECT patient suffers the likely brain damage as a result of ECT, those that have sustained lingering cognitive impairment or disability following ECT are entitled to a remedy from the manufacturers who unlawfully failed to warn.
Following the recent favorable rulings, the trial attorneys were able to conclude the matter with a confidential settlement on behalf of these Plaintiffs. The discovery obtained from the FDA and the Defendant themselves has now paved the way for help to continue to be provided to all others that have been injured by ECT so that justice can now be achieved for the world of ECT shock survivors.
If you or a loved one are still suffering from lingering side effects of ECT treatment performed within the last few years, (or were misled/advised that ECT was not the cause of your lingering issues from earlier ECT treatment) our experts have determined that brain damage is the likely cause. While testing is required, if you were not warned of the risk of brain damage or permanent impairment of cognitive ability as a risk that may occur from ECT and would like more information to determine if remedies are available to you, feel free to send the following information to: email@example.com:
- Name, Address, Cell # and Email address
- # of ECT sessions
- Date of last ECT
- State of residence
- Location of treatment
- Summary of post-ECT complaints and duration
- Description of any Post-ECT treatment or testing
While the liability and damage evidence secured was compelling for this California trial, laws in all States vary and require individual assessment. Accordingly, don’t wait as statutes of limitation may apply to limit the time in which remedies may be sought.
Well, what is the sense of ruining my head and erasing my memory, which is my capital, and putting me out of business? It was a brilliant cure but we lost the patient.
-Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize-winning author and ECT victim
I am Deborah Schwartzkopff, ECT survivor and founder of ECTJustice.com. I am interested in helping people that have been injured by electroshock to pursue medical malpractice suits or product liability suits.
I am not an attorney nor a para legal. But I have settled in three previous suits: a HIPPA suit, a discrimination suit, and a 2013 psychiatric medical malpractice suit.
I am offering my assistance if needed. You will be responsible for obtaining records needed to pursue this action. I will not follow up with you until you have the information required to proceed.
To take advantage of this offer, follow the steps outlined below. Your time to act is limited. See “Statutes of Limitations” below.
1. Fill out the ECT Questionnaire
You can find this on the ECTJustice.com website.
2. Establish extent of damages
Review this video on ECTJuctice.com before meeting with doctors This will help you to be able to discuss the mechanism of trauma in ECT if you run into difficulties in getting testing.
Print a copy of the letter from the help section of ECTJuctice.com (click here for printable PDF copy of letter). Sign and give a copy to your primary care physician to request the testing you will need to establish the extent of damages you sustained during your ECT sessions. Minimally, these three tests must be done:
- Neurological/cognitive testing. Have this done by a TBI (traumatic brain injury) specialist,
If you have the resources, it would be best to additionally have a SPECT and functional MRI done at a teaching hospital.
Get copies of all tests put on a CD at the time of the test, and take it with you. This is the actual test itself. They are happy to give you copy. When you see a psychologist for neuro/cog testing, ask for a copy of test outcomes along with any corresponding number values assigned.
You have a right to all these records. If there are issues in getting testing please contact me. I cannot help with funding, but I may be able to help with other issues.
3. Obtain ECT medical records
Review the medical records page on ECTJustice.com. Read about starting a log at end of the page. This will help should you run into any resistance. Remember that you are entitled to these records by law.
Request your records, keeping a log of every interaction as noted. You do not need every record type listed on the webpage. But, you do need ALL anesthesia consents and ALL consents for electroshock.
If you had any testing prior to ECT, such as a sleep study, MRI, EEG, eye evaluation, or EKG, request those results as well, even if they tell you the results are normal. These will be used as comparisons to the new tests.
If you run into difficulties obtaining testing or records you may contact me. But please get as much in place as possible before doing so.
4. Find Representation
Once you have copies of your testing and records, contact me at Deborah@ectjustice.com, and we can talk about your situation and how to proceed. If you need help I will draft a request for representation using your information. You can then submit to law firms in your state.
It can take persistence to find representation. However, it can be done with minimal effort by email. And, we do have some interested firms in place.
Statutes of Limitations
Your time to file a law suit is limited. Every state has its own time limits.* Note that these limitations generally do not apply to minors.
Listed below are time limits for each state. If you have three months or more (need minimum of 3 months to get things in place) from time of last shock and can get tests done and records retrieved, then I will try to assist you.
Below are the states and their time limits. In some states, the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of injury or when the injury was discovered. These times are for reference only, and are subject to change by each state.
|State||Statue of Limitation|
|Alabama||2 or 4 years|
|California||1 or 3 years|
|Connecticut||2 or 3 years|
|Florida||2 or 4 years|
|Hawaii||2 or 6 years|
|Maryland||3 or 5 years|
|Mississippi||2 or 7 years|
|Missouri||2 or 10 years|
|Nevada||2 or 4 years|
|New Hampshire||3 years|
|New Jersey||2 years|
|New Mexico||3 years|
|New York||2 1/2 years|
|North Carolina||3 to 10 years|
|North Dakota||2 years|
|Ohio||1 or 4 years|
|Rhode Island||3 years|
|South Carolina||3 years|
|South Dakota||2 years|
|Virginia||2 to 10 years|
|West Virginia||2 years|
*If you are outside of the USA I am also interested in assisting but you will have to review the time limits for your country. I will try to assist you but there are no promises in outcomes.
The California class action failed in the appeal process. However, the DK Law firm is moving forward to represent clients who have sustained electroshock injury in California within the last two years. There are suits pending against the FDA around this issue as well.
Many Americans are unaware that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)—more commonly known as electroshock—continues to be widely utilized by U.S. psychiatry. In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, psychologist John Read and co-author Chelsea Arnold note, “The archetypal ECT recipient remains, as it has for decades, a distressed woman more than 50 years old.”
In a comprehensive review of research on ECT, Read and Arnold report that there is “no evidence that ECT is more effective than placebo for depression reduction or suicide prevention.” They conclude, “Given the well-documented high risk of persistent memory dysfunction, the cost-benefit analysis for ECT remains so poor that its use cannot be scientifically, or ethically, justified.”
This begs the question of why this brain-damaging electrical abuse of predominantly middle-aged women, unlike the sexual abuse of younger women and girls, is not today addressed by most high-profile feminists…
Bruce E. Levine, a practicing clinical psychologist often at odds with the mainstream of his profession, writes and speaks about how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. His most recent book is Resisting Illegitimate Authority: A Thinking Person’s Guide to Being an Anti-Authoritarian―Strategies, Tools, and Models(AK Press, September, 2018). His Web site is brucelevine.net
KBOO radio host, Paul Roland, interviews electroshock survivor/activists Deborah Schartzkopff from ECTJustice.com, Mary Maddock, and Jane Rice.
Mary Maddock received ECT without informed consent just 3 days after childbirth. The shock “treatments” continued over a period of 6 weeks. “All this time I was treated as a guinea pig while I was on umpteen nueroleptics and other psychotropic drugs – on and off them as if they were smarties. My memory was severely damaged both long and short term.” After freeing herself from psychiatric treatments in 2000, she joined MindFreedom International and cofounded MindFreedom Ireland.
Jane Rice is a childhood shock survivor. She writes about shock and other psychiatric atrocities on her website, LifeAfterECT.com.
Click here to read accompanying article on KBOO.FM.
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