If a person who goes on the “Atkins diet,” a popular, low-carbohydrate, high-fat, high-protein regimen, develops adverse consequences such as high cholesterol and a clogged coronary artery requiring surgical intervention, may he or she sue the authors and marketers of the Atkins diet for product liability, negligent misrepresentation and deceptive conduct under a deceptive trade practice statute?

Those were the interesting questions confronting U.S. District Judge Denny Chin of the Southern District of New York in Gorran v. Atkins Nutritionals Inc., No. 05 Civ. 10679 (S.D.N.Y. 2006), decided Dec. 11, 2006. Originating in Florida, this lawsuit came to Judge Chin in New York following one defendant’s filing of bankruptcy proceedings in New York, removal of the Florida action to the federal court there and, then, transfer to the New York federal court by stipulation of the parties. Although Florida law applied, Chin’s thoughtful opinion seems to transcend state boundaries.

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