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.
The Precautionary Principle: A Status Questionis,
The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance – Issues and Practice,
p. 163, footnote 28
From The Sunday Times
February 8, 2009
Thalidomide ‘was created by the Nazis’
Link does no more work
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
Chronik des Contergan-Skandals – Contergan – WDR.de
Tragödie – Katastrophe – Skandal?