CHEYENNE, Wyo, -- The author of the 'Last Chance Diet' has testified in U.S. District Court the book was written for the lay person but not meant to be used as a do-it-yourself guide for the liquid protein diet.
Dr. Robert Linn, one of the defendants in a $4 million malpractice suit that claims the diet resulted in the death of 62-year-old Johnnie E. Berry in 1977, Thursday told a jury the book contains several warnings that the diet should not be undertaken unless closely supervised by a physician.
The suit, filed by Berry's widow, claims Berry died 14 days after the liquid protein diet was prescribed by Dr. Deane Crowe, of Cody, another defendant in the case.
Also named in the suit are Chromalloy Pharmaceutical and Twin Laoratories Inc., makers of the pre-digested liquid protein drinks used in the diet.
In the prologue of the book, which has sold 2 million copies since it was published in 1976, Linn wrote to physicians 'This fast cannot and should not be done without your supervision.'
In other testimony Thursday, Dr. John Amatruda told the jury he considers Linn's book misleading because it suggests the diet and liquid protein drink had been tested and proven safe.
The diet and the 'Pro-Linn' liquid protein had never been tested on laboratory animals or humans at the time the book was written, Amatruda said.
'My opinion is that the Last Chance Diet is not a safe diet,' he said.
Crowe has testified Berry was obese, slightly jaundiced and had trouble breathing during a physical he conducted prior to prescribing the diet for him.