A Los Angeles Times investigation of the human growth hormone reveals that some early samples of the drug were contaminated. The contaminated samples infected patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a "deadly human analog of 'mad cow disease.'" A small percentage of the patients who took the then-classified experimental drug in 1960s began dying the 1980s. Twenty-two Americans have died from taking the contaminated sample, however their families have not received restitution because they knowingly took an experimental drug. However, British and other European courts have ruled that this disaster could have been avoided. British medics discovered the contaminated samples in 1976, nine years before the first patients began to die in 1985.