Dr. Oz Sued: Diabetic Man Suffers Horrible Burns from 'Knapsack-Heated Rice Footsie' Sleep Remedy

Dr. Oz
Dr. Oz was sued after a misapplication of his "knapsack-heated rice footsie" led a diabetic man to develop third-degree burns. Creative Commons

Dr. Oz was sued by a diabetic New Jersey man who suffered horrible third degree burns after following an "insomnia cure" that the popular surgeon-turned-TV-host recommended.

Frank Dietl, 76, of Southampton, New Jersey, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan's Supreme Court on Monday morning, claiming that Dr. Mehmet Oz's purported "knapsack heated rice footsie" sleep aid caused him horrible injuries.

"He wound up with third-degree burns on his feet and was confined to his bed for weeks," said Dietl's attorney, Dominick Gullo, to the Daily News.

Dr. Oz was sued after encouraging viewers to follow the sleep remedy on "The Dr. Oz Show" on April 17, during a segment called "Dr. Oz's 24-Hour Energy Boost."

The remedy involved filling the toes of a pair of socks with uncooked rice, then heating the socks in a microwave oven to get them nice and toasty before putting them on. Dr. Oz recommended going to bed with the heated socks, suggesting that the heat would divert blood to the user's feet and cause the body's temperature to drop lightly enough to encourage better sleep.

"When your feet get hot, guess what happens to your body? It gets cold," said Dr. Oz on his show. "Your body will automatically adjust its core temperature and as it gets cooler, you're going to be able to sleep better because your body has to be cold in order to get sleepy."

Dr. Oz did warn viewers not to let the socks get too hot in the microwave, telling viewers that "if you do this the right way, you'll be thanking me for years to come."

Unfortunately, Frank Dietl was unable to sense how hot his socks got when he tried Dr. Oz's recommended technique. According to the Daily News, Dietl suffers from diabetic neuropathy, which causes numbness in the feet.

Dietl sued Dr. Oz for not addressing his neuropathic condition in his televised segment. After Dietl heated his socks in the microwave, he went to bed without feeling any pain from the heat. He claims that he didn't realize how much damage the heated socks had caused until he got up later in the night and tried to walk.

"There were no proper instructions or proper warnings," Gullo said to the Daily News. "There were no warnings to anybody with neuropathy to not try it."

Tim Sullivan, a "Dr. Oz Show" spokesperson, said his company had no comment about Dr. Oz being sued until after reviewing the lawsuit, though he stated that the Show stands by the contents of its program as "safe and educational for our viewers."

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