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    Spanish Thalidomide Victims obtain Judgment against Innocent Party

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on November 22nd, 2013

    The culprits for the thalidomide scandal are the guv’mints which allowed it on their territories despite its having been banned on the territory of the French republic, not the maker of thalidomide.

    First payout for Spanish thalidomide victims
    Published: 21 Nov 2013 08:38 GMT+01:00
    Updated: 21 Nov 2013 08:38 GMT+01:00
    A court ordered the German maker of the banned pregnancy drug thalidomide to compensate Spanish victims on Wednesday who suffered birth defects from it in the 1960s.

    Legal tabloids tell us that thalidomide is an example of the development-risk defence which allows producers
    [and, I submit, governments licensing the products,]
    to escape liability if they prove that the state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time when they put the product into circulation
    [, c.q., I submit, at the time when they allowed the product onto “their” markets,]
    was not such as to enable the existence of a defect to be discovered,
    as defined at present “a contrario” in article 15(1)(b) of the 1985 EEC Product Liability Directive, formally Council Directive 85/374/EEC of 25 July 1985 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning liability for defective products
    which provides that:
    “each Member State may by way of derogation … maintain … or provide in [its] legislation that the producer shall be liable even if he proves that the state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time when he put the product into circulation was not such as to enable the existence of a defect to be discovered.”

    Dr. Herman Cousy, professor emeritus from the law department of the K.U. Leuven, reports in note 28 of his 1996 paper “The Precautionary Principle: A Status Questionis” published in the “Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance – Issues and Practice”, also available on the website of the “Geneva Association”, l’”Association Internationale pour l’Etude de l’Economie de l’Assurance”, the leading international think tank of the insurance industry, that:
    “One often cites the Thalidomide (Contergan) case as an example of a development risk situation, although it appears that when thalidomide was brought onto the German market, the product had been banned in France.”

    And Professor Cousy goes on to ask in the note:
    “Can it be readily upheld, under such circumstances, that the conditions for a “development risk” situation situation were fulfilled?” (1)

    as The (London, England) Sunday Times said on 08 February 2009
    ” Grünenthal, the maker of the drug, apparently purchased the trade name of the drug – Contergan – and therefore probably the substance itself, from a French firm, Rhône-Poulenc, which was under Nazi control during the war years,” (2)

    The judge nevertheless rules that thalidomide had not been properly tested by its manufacturer, the company, then known as Chemie Grünenthal GmbH, now known as Grünenthal GmbH, says El Pais, a newspaper. (3)

    as Deutsche Welle or DW, a broadcaster, says,
    the court ruled that Grünenthal has been “negligent” in permitting thalidomide to be further prescribed in Spain despite the risks of birth defects (4),
    was General Franco’s (Spanish) guv’mint not negligent in granting a licence for thalidomide to be marketed on its territory even though thalidomide had been banned in France?

    Guv’mints – in Spain and elsewhere – should never have allowed thalidomide to “their” markets.

    When were the claimants born?

    The whistle on thalidomide was blown on 30 April – 1 May 1960
    at a Düsseldorf congress of neurologists
    where neurologist Dr. Ralf Voss warned that it attacked the nervous system of the … mother. (5)

    Nobody born more than 9 months later, that’s after 01 February 1961, can claim that her birth defect has been caused by the maker of thalidomide.

    Guv’mints, which should never have allowed thalidomide to “their” markets in the first place, should have withdrawn their licence in May 1960.

    Ivo Cerckel


    Herman Cousy,
    The Precautionary Principle: A Status Questionis,
    The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance – Issues and Practice,
    1996, 158
    p. 163, footnote 28

    From The Sunday Times
    February 8, 2009
    Thalidomide ‘was created by the Nazis’
    Link does no more work
    copied here

    Thalidomide pharmaceutical firm ordered to pay compensation to victims
    Drug was not properly tested by German company, judge rules, causing serious disabilities in Spanish babies
    20 NOV 2013 – 19:25 CET

    Spanish birth defect victims win damages from German drug maker
    Date 20.11.2013

    Chronik des Contergan-Skandals – Contergan – WDR.de
    Tragödie – Katastrophe – Skandal?

    2 Responses to “Spanish Thalidomide Victims obtain Judgment against Innocent Party”

    1. Ivo Cerckel Says:

      If this “article”, which contains only the two quoted sentences, is indeed about thalidomide,
      then this means that Prof. Dr. Cousy is being read,

      Articles: thalidomide (1)
      The single most important principle for sustainability
      by Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
      The non-natural needs to prove its benefits, not the natural. This principle is the clearest expression of the precautionary principle I’ve ever seen, and it is even more stringent.

      The author, Kurt Cobb, does however not give the premises supporting his conclusion.

    2. Ivo Cerckel Says:

      On the heels of this 20 November 2013 Madrid judgment
      came a 02 December 2013 settlement
      between thalidomide monsters and the distributor of thalidomide in Australia and New Zealand.

      In my comments one week ago under this article

      Australian Thalidomide victims settle class action
      Tuesday, December 3, 2013

      I have also further analysed the Spanish judgment.

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