Anti-SLAPP motion moves forward in Wakefield v. BMJ et al.

13 Jul

In January of this year Andrew Wakefield filed a defamation suit against the BMJ (British Medical Journal), Brian Deer (journalist) and Fiona Godlee (editor BMJ). This was followed in March by a response from the BMJ team, including an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss. (SLAPP = strategic lawsuit against public participation) Discussion of the response can be found on Mr. Deer’s website.

Little has been discussed publicly in the months since the BMJ team’s response. It’s been difficult to judge what is happening in the defamation suit. It appears now that the BMJ team have filed an amended response. My understanding is that this would give Mr. Wakefield 10 days from that filing to respond.

Mr. Deer’s ammended response is 86 pages long, shorter than his 102 page original statement, but still lengthy. I seem to recall Mr. Deer posting a picture of the entire BMJ team submission from March. It was huge. And now another stack of documents have been added to the docket. When I think of all these pages, all I can think of is the cost. The cost to draft. The cost for the BMJ legal team to review. The cost for Mr. Wakefield’s team to digest. Mr. Deer estimates that the 2005 lawsuit Mr. Wakefield brought against Mr. Deer, the Sunday Times and Channel 4 cost upwards of £500,000 to defend (even with Mr. Wakefield abandoning the suit). I shudder to think of the cost of the present litigation and what better purposes that money could be used for.

by Matt Carey

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57 Responses to “Anti-SLAPP motion moves forward in Wakefield v. BMJ et al.”

  1. Julian Frost July 13, 2012 at 08:48 #

    Thanks for the update Sullivan. I’d been wondering about the case as I’d heard nothing about it for months. Even googling Andrew Wakefield turned up nothing in News.

    • Sullivan July 13, 2012 at 14:42 #

      My guess is that there won’t be much publicity. One of the points discussed is whether Mr. Wakefield uses litigation for publicity. I think publicity now would hurt his (Wakefield’s) case.

      • Broken Link August 3, 2012 at 13:14 #

        The 10 days to respond has long since passed. Do we have any further information on what is going on?

  2. MikeMa July 13, 2012 at 12:22 #

    Lawyers are a seriously expensive group. Hard to believe that Wakefield’s groupies are continuing to fund this ridiculous suit especially, as Julian points out, since there has been no significant publicity.

  3. Science Mom July 13, 2012 at 13:23 #

    Any ideas what Mr. Deer amended? I read the first version and don’t want to have to pour through this one if I don’t have to. I agree, what a ridiculous use of money, particularly by those crowing for studies. The money suck here could easily cover a large analysis of whatever pseudo-science they wanted.

    • Sullivan July 13, 2012 at 17:43 #

      My first impression is that it is mostly re-arranged, likely to categorize the statements in response to specific issues raised by Mr. Wakefield’s team. There is a table of contents at the beginning helping someone to find the sections which might address those questions.

    • Cybertiger July 15, 2012 at 13:23 #

      The BMJ/Deer defense fund is merely a business expense for GSK – like the $3 billion fine for fraud the fraudsters have just incurred in the US. It’s a naive little bunny that thinks “the money suck” would otherwise go towards the vaccine safety studies that many have crowed for.

    • Cybertiger July 15, 2012 at 17:25 #

      The BMJ/Deer defense fund is merely a business expense for GSK – like the $3 billion fine for fraud the fraudsters have just incurred in the US. It’s a naive little bunny that thinks “the money suck” would otherwise go towards the vaccine safety studies that many have been “crowing” for.

  4. Anne July 14, 2012 at 06:22 #

    There is a hearing scheduled on the jurisdiction issue at the end of this month. I don’t think the judge will rule on the anti-SLAPP motion unless he finds that there is jurisdiction. Lawyers are making good money on the motion practice. it’s possible that a liability insurance carrier is paying the defense fees, but Wakefield has to pay his own way. It seems risky. He would probably be better off just going to Vegas and putting it all on red.

    • Chris July 14, 2012 at 06:27 #

      Nature just won a libel case in the UK, even with their ridiculous laws. I keep wondering if Wakefield loses and has to pay the fees if he will finally fade into the woodwork. Something he should have done with his immensely underwhelming paper in 1998.

      And yes, the lawyers always win.

    • Cybertiger July 15, 2012 at 13:11 #

      Why should Deer and the BMJ get away with their outrageous behaviour?

      • autismjungle July 15, 2012 at 20:18 #

        What outrageous behaviour would that be, Cybertiger?

      • Cybertiger July 17, 2012 at 14:46 #

        Deer and Godlee are little empresses that don’t look good naked.

      • novalox July 17, 2012 at 15:03 #

        @cybertiger

        Not answering the question, I see.

        Does that mean you have nothing to prove your baseless accusation?

      • Sullivan July 17, 2012 at 15:16 #

        The answer is yes. And he’s been reduced to simple trolling.

      • Cybertiger July 17, 2012 at 15:11 #

        @novalox

        It’s not a pretty sight. Can’t you see? Fiona and Brian have got no clothes on.

      • novalox July 17, 2012 at 17:29 #

        @cybertiger

        [citation needed], or we will all assume that you are nothing more than a liar.

  5. lilady July 14, 2012 at 16:08 #

    I scanned the entire Amended Response, and I see that Dan Olmsted and the 200 pages devoted to the Wakefield cases, were mentioned. I’m not certain if the original Response or the original anti-Slapp counter suit filed by Deer, Godlee and the BMJ contained references to the Olmsted/AoA blogs.

    Might I make a suggestion, that we all ignore any trolls (Blackheart, etal) who come posting here, defending Wakefield. I think it would be in the best interests of justice for Deer, Godlee and the BMJ, that we let the cases play out in the Texas courtroom.

  6. lilady July 14, 2012 at 16:51 #

    test comment

  7. lilady July 14, 2012 at 16:56 #

    I read Deer’s Amended Response and it appears that Wakefield will have to respond within 10 days.

    I noticed that Dan Olmsted/Age of Autism are prominently mentioned in this new Response….which I don’t believe were in the original papers filed by Deer.

    I “suggest” that we ignore any trolls’ comments that indicate a “fishing for facts expedition”, so that the Texas court can decide the two cases presently filed with the court..

    • Sullivan July 15, 2012 at 05:36 #

      Sorry lilady,

      One of your comments got caught in spam.

      The original statement by Mr. Deer noted AoA. I recall the statement about UPI being owned by the leader of the moonies. Also there is in the first statement a discussion of Dan Olmsted misrepresented the statements of the parent of one of the Lancet 12 children. (Mr. Olmsted also outed Child 11’s first name, a breach of privacy. After I pointed that failure out on this site, Mr. Olmsted or someone else at his blog edited the blog piece without acknowldging the change or posting an apology)

  8. Cybertiger July 15, 2012 at 13:01 #

    I shudder to think of the cost of the GMC prosecution of the Royal Free Three. Presumably, the British medical profession bore that cost, though I don’t remember doctors being consulted on the expense and whether the money could be spent on “better purposes”.

    • MikeMa July 15, 2012 at 16:29 #

      The GMC investigated improper practices which endangered lives (of children). Seems worthy. The outrageous behavior you mentioned was all on the part of St Andy. Try reading for enhanced comprehension.

  9. lilady July 15, 2012 at 16:15 #

    @ Sullivan: No need to apologize…more than likely I messed up…I’ve been “known” to do that. It’s not as though you haven’t been “busy” working on a very worthy cause.

    Thanks for the correction, my opinion remains the same about not responding to trolls who are on a “fishing for facts expedition”.

  10. Science Mom July 15, 2012 at 16:56 #

    I shudder to think of the cost of the GMC prosecution of the Royal Free Three. Presumably, the British medical profession bore that cost, though I don’t remember doctors being consulted on the expense and whether the money could be spent on “better purposes”.

    Why should physicians suspected of malpractice be consulted as to whether they should have charges brought against them? Although I’m sure you would have preferred that for your own FTP hearing right Mr. Struthers? You have not exactly demonstrated yourself to be an unbiased and rational observer on the subject.

    • Cybertiger July 15, 2012 at 17:22 #

      Eh?

      • autismjungle July 15, 2012 at 20:27 #

        I’ll take your “Eh?” as proof that you’re totally ignorant of what Wakefield actually did. He was approached by a solicitor to find evidence that the MMR jab causes autism and paid GBP435,000. He subjected twelve children to highly invasive testing without the required permission from the Ethics Board. When the data failed to support the causation hypothesis he cooked it. He wrote up a “case study” for The Lancet but failed to disclose his massive conflict of interest. He also attempted to set up businesses to profit from the scare he helped engineer. Finally, when the Royal Free Hospital offered to help him set up a larger scale study, he first agreed then stalled for two years because he knew it would prove him wrong.

  11. Cybertiger July 15, 2012 at 17:29 #

    @ScienceyMommy from comment, ‘July 13, 2012 at 13:23’

    The BMJ/Deer defense fund is merely a business expense for GlaxoSmithCrime – like the $3 billion fine for fraud the fraudsters have just incurred in the US. It’s a naive little bunny that thinks “the money suck” would otherwise go towards the vaccine safety studies that many have been “crowing” for.

  12. Cybertiger July 15, 2012 at 18:06 #

    @ScienceyMom from comment, ‘July 13, 2012 at 13:23’

    The BMJ/Deer defense fund is merely a business expense for GlaxoSmithCrime – like the $3 billion fine for fraud the fraudsters have just incurred in the US. It’s a naive little bunny that thinks “the money suck” would otherwise go towards the vaccine safety studies that many have been “crowing” for.

  13. Cybertiger July 15, 2012 at 20:21 #

    @ScienceyMom from comment, ‘July 13, 2012 at 13:23’

    The BMJ/Deer defense fund is merely a business expense for GlaxoSmithCrime – like the $3 billion fine for fraud the fraudsters have just incurred in the US,

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/08/pharma-misbehaviour-gsk-fine?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038

    It’s a naive little bunny that thinks “the money suck” would otherwise go towards the vaccine safety studies that so many have been “crowing” for.

    • MikeMa July 17, 2012 at 11:33 #

      Lots of vaccine safety studies out there.

      Good also when corporations get caught same as when Wakers got caught. And you, if Science Mom is right.

      Justice everywhere.

      • Cybertiger July 17, 2012 at 15:17 #

        Justice everywhere? Eh? Jail is the only cure for GlaxoSmithCrime … and you know it.

  14. Science Mom July 15, 2012 at 21:05 #

    Yes cybertiger, I know who you are and that is just another de-licenced physician and Wakefield acolyte. I wouldn’t expect you to have any fondness for the oversight body who struck you off of the GMC.

  15. Rebecca Fisher July 17, 2012 at 11:52 #

    To be fair to Cybertiger, he wasn’t struck off – just sacked from the practice he worked at for gross misconduct.

    • Science Mom July 17, 2012 at 15:26 #

      Thanks for the clarification Becky; I’ll be sure to remain accurate regarding Mr. Struthers’ ineptness.

  16. Science Mom July 17, 2012 at 15:31 #

    The BMJ/Deer defense fund is merely a business expense for GlaxoSmithCrime – like the $3 billion fine for fraud the fraudsters have just incurred in the US,

    Blimey you’re completely off your nut Struthers. That is as warped an association as your mate’s belief that the Walker-Smith appeal exhonerates Wakefield. The questioning is Wakefield’s waste of money that could be used for the pseudo-scientific studies his sad rump of disciples are crowing for besides.

  17. Science Mom July 17, 2012 at 16:12 #

    Wow Struthers, that’s what you respond with to criticism of your Jake Crosby-esque associations? No wonder you can’t hold a job and figure out what reality is.

  18. Science Mom July 19, 2012 at 00:13 #

    The jabsloony’s festering nastiness, the creepy repetitiveness, the weasly, deceitful, obsessiveness with baboons’ arses …

    http://jabsloonies.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/ive-clearly-missed-this-repeatedly.html

    … all signal pathology to me … serious forensic psychopathology … that obviously merits an indefinite period of imprisonment for public protection (IPP).

    Project much Struthers?

    • psychtld July 22, 2012 at 05:13 #

      Not to worry.

      He’d never get another medical practitioner and an approved mental health professional to back him up about Becky.

      And I’m sure he knows that trying to get her committed under Sections 2, 3, or even 5(2) of the MHA 2007 would be dangerous for him: since ‘gross misconduct’ is more dangerous to the public than anything that Beck’s ever written in her blog, any report made by him or anyone else (upon his instigation) would be fraudulent and is catered for under Section 126(4) of that Act. Section 126(5) makes clear what it could cost him – and/or them – to pull such a stupid stunt.

      In fact – his own behaviour on here makes him look like he should be detained under at least one of the above sections. Science Mom, it looks like he may indeed be ‘project(ing) much’!

      • Cybertiger July 22, 2012 at 08:34 #

        What on you on about? The ‘Jabs Loonies’ website is a crime scene. When convicted, criminals go to jail. In my view, “Becky” should expect an IPP sentence with a long minimum tariff. “Becky” is not mentally ill, any more than Anders Breivik is.

      • autismjungle July 22, 2012 at 13:44 #

        A crime scene Struthers? What crimes have been committed on it? Oh, and anything other than a statement of what crimes have been committed and evidence proving your claim will be viewed as an admission that you are rectally sourcing your claims.

  19. Science Mom July 22, 2012 at 15:57 #

    What crimes have been committed on it?

    Becky makes scathing observations of Struthers’, Stone’s and Miller’s antics on JABS. Apparently Struthers doesn’t like it when the light is shone on him. And Struthers’, Stone’s and Miller’s antics here just bolster those observations.

    • Sullivan July 22, 2012 at 17:19 #

      Bolster indeed.

      Cybertiger’s earlier comment was caught in the moderation queue.

      Perhaps clarification is needed. The ‘Jabs Loonies’ website is essentially a crime scene. Psychologically profiling the blogger responsible, indicates a male homosexual with an enduring antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). This vile individual is an ongoing danger to society and in my view should be locked up indefinitely for public protection.

      He uses homosexuality and a personality disorder as slurs.

      I note that in his revised version of the comment (the one that got through) he reverses his position on mental illness. He can’t keep his own attack story straight.

      • Cybertiger July 22, 2012 at 17:29 #

        Eh? I’ve reversed my position on mental illness? What position’s that?

      • Rebecca Fisher July 26, 2012 at 09:09 #

        He thinks I’m Brian Deer. That’s what this is all about.

      • Sullivan July 26, 2012 at 15:11 #

        Ah, now I see.

        It’s not *just* an anti gay slur directed at you.

    • Sullivan July 22, 2012 at 18:33 #

      Were this blog still in UK jurisdiction, cybertiger’s comments would be actionable, in my opinion. Rather than let him make this site a crime scene, I’ll ask that he keep his comments relevant and refrain from attacks. I suspect he has nothing to say that fits those criteria.

      • Science Mom July 26, 2012 at 15:28 #

        Blimey, they think everyone is someone else; I’ve been accused of being Allison Singer. So Struthers is a bigot too, colour me surprised.

    • psychtld December 30, 2012 at 08:25 #

      Because Struthers is a prick.

      Enough said, methinks.

  20. Lawrence December 30, 2012 at 13:56 #

    The “regulars” at AoA think I’m Brian “Lawrence” Deer…..they certainly see their “enemies” everywhere….

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Silencing Critics: Legal Chill « Stuff And Nonsense - July 15, 2012

    […] Andrew Wakefield was once accused (by Justice Eady) of trying to silence critics by warning them that he was suing for libel while at the same time failing to progress the case. The Left Brain / Right Brain blog has been posting updates on Wakefield’s current lawsuit. […]

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