Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jim Is In Serious Trouble, Can You Help Him?

From Yoism-
James Gottstein, founder of PsychRights is in trouble. Because he did the right thing.

James B. Gottstein, Esq., President and CEO of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights), is a Harvard Law School alumnus, a 30+ year practicing attorney, and a psychiatric survivor.

And he is in trouble for doing the right thing.

We hope he will not be punished with loss of his law license, massive civil sanctions, and possibly even going to jail. However, the power of wealthy corporations to punish those who dare to oppose them even applies to whistleblowers like Jim Gottstein who have done what any moral person should do.

In a legal proceeding, Jim got hold of some secret Eli Lilly and Company documents, the Zyprexa Papers, that revealed terrible wrongdoing on Lilly’s part. This wrongdoing was destroying many thousands of lives. Drugs with serious side effects were being illegally marketed for the treatment of people for whom they had not demonstrated any effectiveness; and the dangerous side effects were actively downplayed and hidden. Eli Lilly, which, of course, always tries to deny any wrongdoing, has taken some responsibility for their misconduct by settling law suits for the terribly destructive medical complications — including death — that these illegally promoted drugs have caused. So far, they have paid out over two-and-a-half BILLION dollars to settle these suits.

So why is Jim Gottstein being punished?

Because he showed the documents to people. He sent the documents to a newspaper reporter at the The New York Times. Publication in The Times of information from these documents could and did help stop the fraud and helped make Eli Lilly accountable for what they had done. By bringing Lilly’s misconduct to light sooner, Jim has helped stop the destructive misuse of these dangerous drugs. By bringing Lilly’s misconduct to light sooner, Jim’s actions have prevented the destruction of hundreds, if not thousands of lives.

So, again, why is Jim Gottstein being punished?

Because the secret Zyprexa Papers had been obtained from Lilly in a case unrelated to Jim. Jim subpoenaed the documents from an expert who was examining them for that other case. The judge in that case ruled that Jim "conspired to steal" the Zyprexa Papers from Lilly when he subpoenaed them from Dr. Egilman in December of 2006, and then released them to the public, resulting in multiple front page articles in The New York Times.

Jim says, "I believe I did nothing wrong. When Lilly failed to object — after being given a reasonable opportunity to do so — and then Dr. Egilman sent the Zyprexa Papers to me, they had lost their secrecy protection."

But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong. Lilly can punish Jim even if they are wrong and he is right. They can do this by suing Jim Gottstein for releasing their secret documents that revealed THEIR wrongdoing.
So, Jim needs our help.

"Ever since Judge Weinstein ruled against me on February 13, 2007, Lilly has threatened me with civil and criminal contempt sanctions and going after my license to practice law. My legal fees in defending against Lilly's legal onslaught have so far been just under $300,000, including estimated unbilled fees, of which I still owe over $121,000. This has put me financially under water."

You can help by sending a check to the Jim Gottstein Defense Fund, or make a tax deductible charitable contribution online to the Jim Gottstein Legal Defense Fund Facebook Cause.

Jim Gottstein Legal Defense Fund
c/o Dominick Riccio, Ph.D.
1036 Park Avenue, Suite 1B
New York, NY 10028

PS. Please note: Jim is in need, but he did not ask us to post this.
Sometimes, people just have to do the right thing.

Susan's note-Holly and I have contributed, and belong to the group on Facebook. Jim is a real great guy, he doesn't deserve what he is going through. I hope my readers can help.


Life Settlement Company said...

May i know reason about jim's being in trouble...

susan said...

Um, LIfe, if this isn't Spam. I am going to treat this if it is a real letter- It's in the post. It's also here, from Ed Silverman,

For those who don’t recall, Gottstein, who runs The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, a non-profit against forced drugging, was accused along with two others by US District Court Judge Jack Weinstein of violating a court order by scheming to leak and publish sealed Zyprexa documents. The Zyprexa documents, which detailed hidden side-effect data and improper marketing, were published by The New York Times, setting off a feverish debate over the public’s right to know about concealed side effect data. (Ed Silverman's words, not mine).

I believe in that if you live in the US, you have the courage of your convictions. You shouldn't be martyred for getting documents that show a drug can possibly kill you, and then printing it. Jim has saved lives by this, and Lilly is , short of crucifying him, is making an example of him , so this won't happen again- by threatening him with loss of his law license, loss of his money, and a possible jail sentence. To me that does not seem fair, and to me that does not seem like it should happen in the the US. Does that seem right to you- all this for standing up for something you believe in?

I hope I answered your question. YOu can learn more by going to his blog. Thank you!

susan said...

Oh the second to last paragraph an last paragraph were mine.

Radagast said...

Back in 1996, a group of christian activists, going under the banner of "Ploughshare," broke into a BAe facility, and vandalized a Hawk jet, bound for East Timor (for the purpose of exterminating East Timorese, one presumes).

The four accused defended themselves against the charge of criminal damage by arguing that they were saving lives, which is the ultimate defence: if one commits a crime whilst saving life, then there is no crime.

Gottstein might be advised to try this tack.


susan said...

Thanks Matt,

I think Jim is reading this blog, he's very busy right now......

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