A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Tuesday [Nov. 20] threw out a defamation lawsuit filed by a prominent South Korean fertility scientist against a Riverside doctor who has been critical of his work.
Dr. Kwang-Yul Cha, who has been president of hospitals and research labs in Los Angeles and South Korea, accused Dr. Bruce Flamm of conducting a "bitter personal vendetta" against him after Cha published a 2001 study suggesting that prayer might help women become pregnant.
As IPBiz has noted, Flamm was concerned with an article published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine [JRM] about the impact of prayer on success in IVF. In the context of discussing the JRM paper, Flamm wrote in the March 15, 2007 issue of Ob. Gyn. News. is the following (concerning the authors of the JRM article):
"This may be the first time in history that all three authors of a randomized, controlled study have been found guilty of fraud, deception, and/or plagiarism."
The plagiarism issue pertained to a DIFFERENT paper on a DIFFERENT subject co-authored by Cha, one published in Fertility & Sterility, a journal of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine [ASRM]. The defamation allegation arose out of the words "found guilty of ... plagiarism." In the 15 March 07 piece, Flamm cited a February 2006 article in the Los Angeles Times [written by Ornstein] in which Dr. Alan DeCherney, editor of the journal Fertility and Sterility, said the 2005 article appeared to be plagiarized. The article in Fertility & Sterility seems to include text which is nearly a paragraph-for-paragraph, chart-for-chart copy of Jeong-Hwan Kim's Ph.D. thesis, which later appeared in a Korean medical journal [in the Korean language in KJOG of the Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology [KSOG]], all before the F&S manuscript was submitted. IPBiz notes that the editorial guidelines for Fertility & Sterility, which were on the internet at the time, basically define "duplicate publication" to be plagiarism.
That the Fertility & Sterility paper [in English] used the same words as an already-published paper in KJOG [in Korean] seems beyond dispute. After Cha threatened both F&S/ASRM and the LAT with defamation suits, F&S determined that plagiarism had not happened, and an apology was issued to Cha (the editor termed the earlier remarks: "inaccurate and regrettable." )
Of the specific issue of "guilty of ... plagiarism," IPBiz recalls the interesting lawsuit, Groden v. Random House, 35 USPQ2d 1547, involving the phrase "guilty of misleading the American public," in which the writer of "guilty of misleading the American public" survived the lawsuit. [As a side comment to the 19 May 07 IPBiz post, LBE saw many "Bimbo" trucks in his recent visit to Cadiz.]
The Ornstein piece is titled Scientist's defamation suit is tossed out
Bob Grant at The Scientist blog also has comments.
As of Nov. 23, californiastemcellreport has NOT reported the outcome of Flamm's success, but otherwise is enmeshed in the uproar concerning John Reed.