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Utah victims file suit against chiropractor under fire

Published May 11, 2012 7:25 pm

Courts • Diabetic says supplements could have put health at risk.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 72-year-old who feels his life could have been threatened by supplements provided by West Jordan chiropractor Brandon Babcock is one of two victims suing the practitioner in a proposed class-action lawsuit.

"He tried to steal $6,000 from me," said Terry Lange, who has diabetes and Parkinson's and lives in an assisted living facility.

Babcock, 37, had widely promoted himself as having the ability to "reverse" Type II diabetes. Offering free meals at restaurants and free initial consultations, he then allegedly applied for credit in the new customers' names.

JP Morgan Chase, Chase Health Advance, GE Money Bank and Care Credit are also named in the lawsuit, filed Friday in 3rd District Court.

Babcock's business practices also are the focus of 11 felony charges filed against him in April, 10 counts of exploitation of a vulnerable adult and one count of communications fraud. State officials suspended his medical license after the charges were filed.

Chase has declined to comment.

"He's preying on people who are older, who are hoping to get a little better life," said Lange, a former hospital administrator. He added that he knows of about 12 other people in similar circumstances.

The lawsuit proposes consolidating the claims of Salt Lake County residents who are age 65 or older, were treated for diabetes by Babcock and were charged by the companies or received open lines of credit from them. He could not be reached for immediate comment Friday.

"As a consumer protection attorney my job is to try to right wrongs that have been committed against people," said Michele Anderson-West, a Salt Lake City lawyer representing the victims. "They were lured into believing that Babcock could cure their diabetes."

On the same day the victims completed their paperwork with Babcock, they were billed between $6,000 and $10,000 through Chase Health or Care Credit. The financial companies did not check the plaintiffs' credit; nor did the firms obtain their consent or provide adequate disclosures about the financing, the suit alleges.

The suit includes claims of exploitation and unjust enrichment against both Babcock and the companies. It also accuses Babcock of violating the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act by saying he could cure diabetes and charging high fees for incomplete care or treatment that was not provided, encouraging victims to sign a financing agreement and applying for credit on their behalf.

Anderson-West noted that Lange was charged $6,000 for supplements that cost less than $200 online, some of which were already expired.

"They should get their money back and get the credit transaction rescinded," she said. "They put debt on people who are living on Social Security."

jlyon@sltrib.com

Online • 'Reversing diabetes'

O In March, The Salt Lake Tribune published a profile of Utah chiropractor Brandon Babcock and his program. http://bit.ly/xLDxXy