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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?

4 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.

  3. Ivo Cerckel Says:


    Nordrhein-Westfalen arbeitet Contergan-Skandal auf

    28.01.2014, 02:48 Uhr | dpa


    10 000 Kinder kamen wegen des Schlafmittels Contergan mit schweren Missbildungen an Armen und Beinen auf die Welt. Nun will Nordrhein-Westfalen den größten Arzneimittel-Skandal der deutschen Nachkriegsgeschichte aufarbeiten und dabei auch die Rolle der damaligen Landesregierung beleuchten. NRW-Gesundheitsministerin Barbara Steffens (Grüne) stellt am Dienstag ein Forschungsprojekt mit der Universität Münster vor.
    1957 hatte das Aachener Pharmaunternehmen Grünenthal Contergan auf den Markt gebracht. Von den 5000 Betroffenen in Deutschland leben noch 2700.
    Die Staatsanwaltschaft hatte 1968 beim Contergan-Prozess kritisiert, Grünenthal habe auf den ersten Verdacht, die Missbildungen könnten damit zusammenhängen, dass Schwangere Contergan genommen hatten, nicht angemessen und nicht schnell genug reagiert. Zu der Zeit regelte das Arzneimittelgesetz in Deutschland im Wesentlichen lediglich, wer Arzneimittel herstellen durfte. Erst im sehr viel ausführlicheren Gesetz von 1978 geht es auch darum, wie Medikamente wieder vom Markt genommen werden.

    Die Welt kompakt 29.01.14

    NRW Kompakt


    Das Land will selbst Klarheit über seine Rolle im Contergan-Skandal schaffen. Wissenschaftler der Universität Münster sollen die Haltung der damaligen Landesregierung im Arzneimittel-Skandal untersuchen. “Ist rechtlich alles so gelaufen, wie es laufen sollte”, fasste Gesundheitsministerin Barbara Steffens (Grüne) am Dienstag in Düsseldorf die Fragestellung zusammen. Die Antwort sei für die Betroffenen wichtig. Ergebnisse sollen 2015 vorliegen. Von den 5000 deutschen Contergan-Opfern leben nach Angaben des Landes noch 800 in NRW.

  4. Ivo Cerckel Says:


    Guy Verhofstadt @GuyVerhofstadt
    Debrief by liberal Ukrainian sisterparties. Their message to the EU: keep supporting us with words&deeds #euromaidan pic.twitter.com/jUPkYySAul
    8:29 AM (GMT+8) – 21 Feb 2014 4h

    Ivo Cerckel ?@IvoCerckel 2h
    Promotion of rule of law vs death = okay
    But why did yr Party then vote last wk for child euthanasia/death in Belg parlmnt?

    Ivo Cerckel ?@IvoCerckel 2h
    euthanasie softenon dierenwelzijn
    Ivo 14 Feb 2014
    Medelijden is een dubbelzinnig begrip.

    Ivo Cerckel ?@IvoCerckel 10m
    Petition to King of Belgians – Refuse to Sign Child Euthanasia Law
    Baudouin reviens, ils sont fous!

    Ivo Cerckel ?@IvoCerckel 7m
    King Baldwin refused to sign abortion law.
    Will King Philip be as brave as His Majesty’s uncle?

    IIvo Cerckel?@IvoCerckel
    @GuyVerhofstadt O
    Only by refusing to sign the child euthanasia law can Philip, the King of the Belgians, promote Ukraine’s EU membership.
    12:35 PM GMT+8 – 21 Feb 2014

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