Daytime television host and famous “celebrity” surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz from The Dr. Oz Show is being sued by one of his television viewers. The New York Daily News reported yesterday that Dr. Oz promoted an insomnia cure of his television program and a New Jersey man who attempted the cure was rewarded with third-degree burns on his feet.
Frank Dietrl, 76, of New Jersey filed a lawsuit with Manhattan Supreme Court against Dr. Oz for his “knapsack heated rice footsie” which led Dietrl to suffer from burns on his feet and forced him to be “confined to his bed for weeks”. Dietrl’s attorney, Dominick Gullo, spoke with New York Daily News on Monday, saying that the product in question was featured on the April 17th episode of Dr. Oz’s show in the segment called “Dr. Oz’s 24-Hour Energy Boost.” During the segment in question, Oz encouraged his viewers to take a pair of socks and fill the toes of them with uncooked rice. The socks could then be placed in a microwave and put on your feet for up to 20 minutes. In the segment Dr. Oz warned his viewers not to allow the socks to become too hot in the microwave.
What should be mentioned is that Dietl suffers from neuropathy, which is numbness in his feet caused by diabetes. When he tried out Dr. Oz’s tip he did not know that the socks were too hot until he woke up in the middle of the night and tried to walk. The lawsuit does not specify the length of time that Dietl placed the socks in the microwave. "There were no proper instructions or proper warnings," Gullo said. "There were no warnings to anybody with neuropathy to not try it."
A spokesperson for The Dr. Oz Show, Tim Sullivan from Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, had not yet reviewed the lawsuit and could not make a direct comment. "However, we stand by the content in our program as safe and educational for our viewers," said Sullivan.