Unsinkable rubber Wakefields

It appears that the disgraced researcher, Andrew Wakefield, is at it again. This time he's suing the BMJ and Brian Deer in a Texas court. Why Texas? He's tried this before in the UK and failed. TheScientist magazine claim he said he'd be "vulnerable to being struck out as an abuse of process."

Perhaps there's a reason for that...

From the sound of it he's going to have a hard time there too. Texas has recently adopted
anti-SLAPP laws that allow the defendants to require the plaintiff in libel cases to first establish that they have a valid basis for the case before it goes any further. In order to do that Wakefield would need to prove Deer's research for his articles to be fraudulent.

I don't see that happening.

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Texas? Probably because he

Texas? Probably because he was/is living there, so that's not wholly unreasonable.

In terms of whether the case has merit, that will obviously depend on the details of the suit. If it's for statements in the article of intent (eg. "He lied") vs statements of fact (eg. "The is no causal relationship evidenced between the vaccine and X as claimed by Wakefield") then he might have a case.

This, from the article http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347, for instance:

" Wakefield phoned them at home, and must have at least suggestively questioned them, potentially impacting on later history taking."

Based on my own experience with defamation proceedings, I could see that having the average defamation lawyer quite excited at first glance.

He may well be what the GMC described as a 'dishonest', 'unethical', and "callous", but that doesn't mean he wasn't defamed in the article. Certainly, that's for a court to decide. But I should think it means he wouldn't win very much if the case reaches court and he wins at all. In context, the fact of whether the sentence above is true or not hardly affects his reputation given what the GMC said of him. :) That said, defendants get to nominate venue reasonably easily and it would be amusing to see Deer demand the trial in the UK (assuming he's there) and the BMJ accept Texas. The cost of fighting in two locations at the same time would.... not be low, I expect. :) :)