Dr. Oz Sued Over At-Home Remedy

Viewer claims that he received third-degree burns after following Oz's advice.

ByABC News
March 20, 2013, 1:39 PM

Mar. 20, 2013— -- Dr. Mehmet Oz is being sued by a New Jersey man who claims an insomnia cure promoted on "The Dr. Oz Show" left him with third-degree burns on his feet.

Frank Dietl, 76, claims in a lawsuit filed last Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court that after trying Dr. Oz's "knapsack heated rice footsie," he was "rendered sick, sore, lame and disabled."

His lawyer, Dominick Gullo, told the New York Daily News that his client was "confined to his bed for weeks."

The footsie was an at-home remedy for cold-feet sufferers trying to sleep at night. During a segment on the April 17, 2012, show, Oz, a respected cardiac surgeon and host of the show, encouraged viewers to fill the toes of socks with uncooked rice and warm them in the microwave before going to bed.

"You do this and lie for about 20 minutes with those socks on in bed. The heat will divert blood to your feet," Oz explained on the show.

"When your feet get hot, guess what happens to your body? It gets cold. 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," he said.

Oz warned his viewers against overheating the socks in the microwave but Dietl claims in the suit that Oz was "under a further duty to warn against any reasonably forseeable risk."

Dietl, who is diabetic, suffers from neuropathy, which means he has "diminished sensation" in his feet. Unaware of how hot the socks were, he suffered third-degree burns to both his feet, the lawsuit says.

"Dr. Oz Show" spokesman Tim Sullivan told ABCNews.com, "At this time, the Dr. Oz Show has not been served with any complaint and therefore cannot comment on the matter, however we stand by the content in our program as safe and educational for our viewers."