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Whittemore Institute suing Mikovits for alleged theft of lab notebooks and data

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by Lee, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Except that it was issued from Washoe county, directly after the lawsuit was filed.

    ***
    This is disturbing in so many ways.
     
  2. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Jeez...it just gets darker.

    Its such a weird situation. I guess if you can present a case that someone has taken something - theft - then you can have them arrested...That means there must be an arrest warrant out for her in Nevada.

    It is hardball. On the other hand that missing data took alot of money and effort to acquire and the WPI feels its very important and they may feel they have no other options. If you were missing data and you believed someone took it and it was clear they were not going to give it back - what would you do? I would probably actually have them arrested in order to prod them to give it back. Then I would drop the case when I got it back.

    On the other hand Dr. Mikovits says she never took the data...

    Somebody is not telling the truth....

    I have a friend who is trying to get back some important documents from someone who is holding them. After politely asking she went with the police to that person's residence to compel them to provide them. (He never answered the door and nothing was resolved).....God knows what happened but it could have been something like that I guess...Its all pretty much hearsay at this point.
     
  3. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    If someone is deemed a flight risk a lawsuit can result in actual arrest .... and they wont set a bail in that case. (eg if she wasnt supposed to go out of state but did)
     
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Mikovits has said the keys are always left in a certain place at the WPI so other lab personal always have access.

    Maybe one of the other lab workers got paid a big bribe to steal those the important info for someone else or took it for themselves. For all we know the info could of ended up in some government hands.

    What I wish to know is hasnt that place got security cameras??? couldnt they be used to see who was in that location at the time the offense took place? Mikovits says she wasnt even there.. if she was.. wouldnt security footage somewhere show it?
     
  5. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I'm not surprised that the data was not as secure as one might have hoped - because I imagine that these types of things rarely happen. On the other hand - I wouldn't think anyone would go to the trouble to steal it because there are so many problems with XMRV now and the research world is moving on.

    If you presented the data as your own - how would you account for it? There's not a University in the world that would allow you to just all of a sudden show up with all this data....

    I don't see a big motive for some researcher sneaking into the WPI's lab. Its far more likely, unfortunately, that its connected with the firing...
     
  6. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Maybe that's it. Maybe according to the lawsuit she wasn't supposed to leave the state until the matter was handled. Then when she left the state - that resulted in an arrest and no bail. That would make sense.
     
  7. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Unless the work *is* valid, and someone either wants credit (since much of it was never allowed to be published) or wants to suppress it
    (i.e. in continuing to not allow it to be published.) Just a guess.
     
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  8. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Dear oh dear Cort - watching it all from here is just awful - that the WPI have sunk to this level is almost unbelievable wherever the notes are.
     
  9. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    It's definitely hardball now. Its ugly and shocking for sure.

    The termination was bad enough but as soon as that data (whatever it is) disappeared things changed. I think its hard to imagine Dr. Mikovits actually taking study data from the WPI (it is for me) but the WPI clearly thinks that's what's happened. They have surely tried to get it back using other means and its clearly not coming back that way....so what do you do? What is there left to do?

    If its really important data I would probably do what they're doing... I don't know if I would have done it as fast or if I would tried harder to get it back another way.........but at some point the only place to turn is the legal system. They are going to get slammed in the court of public opinion and look like the bad guys but so be it.

    As long as Dr. Mikovits is out of work she can't use the data even if she does have it. If this is big enough to bring a lawsuit over - it sounds like its pretty important - then its a substantial amount of information on XMRV and CFS. It sounds like not having it there may be holding up their current research efforts.

    From a purely practical standpoint its not doing the CFS community any good being out of the WPI since they are probably the only ones with the resources to move forward. ....
     
  10. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    I see your points Cort and one could speculate endlessly about what really happened - however the complete breakdown of trust between the parties involved is obvious. Can't do anyone's reputation any good and holding up research for our community too.
     
  11. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I agree - the disheartening thing is that we got to the point so quickly where lawsuits are being filed. I don't know if the WPI is over-reacting or being the tough guy instead of trying to be conciliatory and trying to work things out - that's certainly possible - but I did want to present one other interpretation of what might be going on. Only time (hopefully) will tell what's going on.

    It must be either very late or very early in the UK?
     
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  12. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    Exactly, this is very damaging for all parties involved.

    We all lose...
     
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  13. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    I looked up 'Mikovits' on the court docket website (which includes civil and criminal) and only the civil suit came up. A temporary restraining order was granted on Nov. 7. Perhaps part of the order was not to leave the state until the injunction hearing. The judge could then rule she was in contempt and issue a bench warrant for her arrest. Just speculating, fwiw. (someone on the other forum said one of the cops who searched Lilly Meehan's house said it was a criminal, not a civil case, but perhaps he was mistaken)

    Bummed about the whole situation. I wish cooler heads would/will prevail. : (

    Hugs to everyone in these trying times (( ))
     
  14. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Cort - off thread - your post 51 - it's 8.30am here so hope you are not burning the candle at both ends there !
     
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    The way Im looking at it is it makes sense to be done fast (and actually they did wait a while before reporting it to the police, they gave her time and opportunity to return it etc).. as obviously they truely believe she has it and she's denied she has got it, so nothing more really they could do except turn to legal system. Pointless to insist one to one with her that she has it and to return it, when she says she dont have it and also thinks the data is hers anyway.

    I can understand that that info must be very important to her as she still believes in XMRV so maybe probably sees more research in this as the only way to like get her good reputation back again.. to prove the things she previously said and that she is right.

    I can understand her copping the blame as it is a logical thing to think its probably her after they've sacked her.
    Most obvious conclusions thou arent always the right ones. (maybe it isnt even about that research, thou i do doubt that is the case, but someone who dont like her or someone who wants to get rid of a ME researcher and has set her up to take a massive fall.. who knows.. it could be anything)

    Its been said to be YEARS work.

    What gets me is why someone would go and take something when they know they will be blamed for taking it and surely be gone after?
    No one in their right mind would steal something knowing they will be blamed for it (eg she was fired recently so if she took it she would of surely known she'd be seen as the thief).

    It only makes sense to me for her to have taken it, if she took it believing she truely had an actual legal right to that info and hence then to take it (and then later fight that its hers, maybe she previously been given some poor legal advice of having right to it.. one could speculate about so many different things).
    So her allegally thinking that info is hers.. well her taking it makes sense in that light.. so hence then it would of all came down to an misunderstanding thing of who owns what).
    Otherwise it makes no sense at all IF she was the one to take it.
    .....

    I think people should support both the WPI AND Mitovits till much more is known. This must be so hard on both parties and there is a chance neither is involved.

    (Did this get stolen just after the Norweign big discovery was published?). I think the timing of this drama is interesting as I made prediction at this site wondering what big thing which could happen to try to take the spotlight from the Norweign study... as every time there is a big ME/CFS discovery something usually happens just after which takes the spotlight from away from whatever it is.

    I made a joke not long ago about what Wessely school believers could do to take the lime light away from the Norweign study... and come up with all kinds of far out things which could get media attention away from the newest big discovery. The Norweign study did not end up drawing the amount of attention it should of done world wide but maybe someone out there at the time thought it would draw more attention so wanted to create a big drama in the field of ME/CFS.
    Anyway..Im wondering if the info got stolen from the WPI just after the Norweign study info came out.

    crap.. i so so wish we all knew what has happened.. so many possibilities and so many far out things have happened in the field of ME/CFS before.
     
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  16. Eucalypta

    Eucalypta Guest

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    What bothers me in this whole story is this. Which scientist, and I include here and learn from my husband, uses nowadays notebook to write down their data? A laptop yes, a paper notebook no. I just can't imagine years of work in a notebook. As the notebook was described as being placed in a drawer so other lab workers could look something up, I'm pretty sure it didn't contain any important information. My husband uses a notebook to make a quick note, next to his laptop, stuff only he can read. He would never collect years of research and other data like patient addresses in a notebook.

    if Judy intended to use her data and had second thoughts about the contract she signed where she signed over her rights, she would have made back-ups of her laptop data and store that in a safe place. Not a notebook that everyone uses.
     
  17. Eucalypta

    Eucalypta Guest

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    Does no one find it's interesting and very coincidental that dr. Mikovits is held without bail, can not return to her home until Nov. 22nd while she was scheduled to speak at dr. Enlander's meeting Nov.20th this Sunday. Because she can not return home she can also not participate via video or audio like dr.Bell is going to. Did someone wanted to prevent her from participating in that meeting? If that is not the case I find their timing very odd.
     
  18. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    It really doesn't for me. The meeting is going to be a relatively small one taking place within the CFS community and Dr. Mikovits has easy access to all the physicians and researchers at the meeting; she was not going to say anything there that she couldn't have easily picked up the phone and told them at any time.
     
  19. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Cort, I agree everyone here loses. It is a terrible awful shame (and I mean that in both senses) but I would like to add in response to some of your other thoughts that

    WPI is not the only group that has the means to move forward (though I did really have all my hope in that basket). As you know, there is Simmaron, the CFI, and Dr. Enlander's Sinai group now. This is the good news among all the bad :) More than ever now, we have serious people with serious money wanting to do serious work.

    And I would have thought solely for PR reasons WPI would try to avoid a public legal battle like this. As others have said, it makes their own security look bad for one, and for two, in the past (like with Dr P) they handled their differences with a real grace and gentility. I don't know how anyone expects to bounce back from this. They knew she was going back to her home in CA anyway. To blindside her and Lilly with a criminal search and to arrest her for just returning home on suspicion of possessing the material--well that's just bad form from every angle.

    It is looking more and more to me--since the science powers that be have deemed the data useless, unpublishable, and everyone is moving on--that someone, maybe further up the food chain than the folks at WPI, has a vested interest in this info NOT being leaked to the public. Hence the first legal line of battle being the injunction against releasing it, and the second being a felony charge.

    I guess I'm contributing more to the conjecture. I think it's the only way some of us are able to process this terrible blow. Like any of us need any more terrible blows.
     
  20. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Yes Leela-- The part about grace and gentility vs blindsiding someone you were *friends* with with a criminal search and arrest. This is what is most shameful about this situation, that two humans who appeared to be both friends (or was it all just show?) and associates could not chill out, contain their own respective tensions, sit down face to face, and find a way to talk to each other like real humans and work out their shit. And if they didn't have the reasoning capacity do this on their own, then they could have mutually agreed to hiring the assistance of a good mediator. Wouldn't that be the SANE thing to do? And why is sanity in such short supply among those at the WPI?

    In time we will know, if we really want to, but at this point I am pretty sure that I don't.
     
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