Earlier this week, ConsumerAffairs.com reported that a California chiropractor
has been charged with consumer fraud in a lawsuit by several district
attorneys. The suit alleges the Danville, California chiropractor sold
a $115,000 DRX-9000 spinal-traction (spinal decompression) machine to
other chiropractors and encouraged them to provide expensive treatments
for their patients.
The DRX-9000 was advertised as a breakthrough in medical technology with
a scientifically-proven, 86% success rate in the treatment of disc injuries
such as disc herniation. The same ads claimed the DRX was an FDA approved
and patented alternative to spinal surgery and was endorsed by NASA. As
reported by ConsumerAffairs.com: ” Consumers rely on healthcare
professionals to explain their treatment options so the consumer can choose
the appropriate treatment. It is both unethical and unlawful for healthcare
professionals to use false and deceptive statements or unsubstantiated
junk science to promote their services."
The suit seeks restitution for patients who paid for expensive treatments
that didn't work and civil penalties for deceptive business practices.
The suit was filed in Alameda County Superior Court by the district attorneys
of Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz,
Shasta, Solano, and Sonoma counties.
The company that manufactures the DRX 9000 has had its own legal problems
too. In 2007, an injunction in U.S. District Court barred the company
from representing that the DRX-9000 is FDA-approved or is endorsed by NASA.