Dr. Oz is being sued. A 76-year-old New Jersey man is suing the dispenser of healthful tips and remedies, stating that Dr. Oz gave him advice that caused him injury, namely third-degree burns on his feet.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose syndicated health show is seen by millions every day, didn't personally give Frank Deitl the advice, but in Deitl's lawsuit, which was filed on Monday, March 18, according to the New York Post, he claims that he followed the advice of the doctor from a 2012 show.
Dietl is a diabetic and suffers from neuropathy and a "diminished sensation in his feet."
“What upset me was that Oz should have had a disclaimer for people with neuropathy,’’ Dietl told the Post.
Dominick Gullo, who represents Dietl, told the New York Daily News his client was "confined to his bed for weeks."
On an episode of "Dr. Oz" aired on April 17, 2012, the doctor suggested that those who suffer from insomnia could possibly benefit from a "knapsack heated rice footsie." He went on to explain that to make the "footsie," the toes of a pair of socks were to be filled with uncooked rice, then the socks were to be warmed in a microwave oven. Then the socks could be put on.
In the segment, which highlighted a home remedy for insomnia sufferers with cold feet, Dr. Oz advises lying with the socks on for about 20 minutes. He goes on to explain how the body needs to be cooled in order for sleep to occur and the warmed socks divert heat from the body's core to the feet, allowing for cooling and letting the body gain a more restful sleep.
“There were no proper instructions or proper warnings,” Gullo said. “There were no warnings to anybody with neuropathy to not try it.”
However, Dr. Oz did caution viewers not to let the socks get too hot in the microwave.
Still, Dietl, who happens to be the brother of former NYPD detective and TV personality Bo Dietl, claims in his lawsuit that he had no idea how hot the socks were until he awoke in the night and attempted to walk.
A spokesman for Harpo Productions, Tim Sullivan, said that he couldn't comment on the lawsuit but that they stood behind "the content in our program as safe and educational for our viewers."
Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiac surgeon, has been giving healthful and medical advice via television for years. He began by appearing as a regular on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." His rising popularity prompted his own show, "The Dr. Oz Show," which began airing in September 2009. He won an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 2010 and 2011. "The Dr. Oz Show" itself took home Emmys for Outstanding Talk Show/Informative in 2011 and 2012.