Yes, America’s Most Irresponsible Public Figure® is at it again. [Orac, Respectful Insolence] For good measure, the celebrity environmentalist/wayward scion, speaking in Chicago at a conference called Autism One, is quoted as saying of Dr. Paul Offit and other vaccine scientists, “They should be in jail and the key should be thrown away.” [Age of Autism]
Update: As of Tues. June 3 in the afternoon, the AoA blog post has been taken down. [h/t Justin Miller]
The researcher of anti-vaccine fame, who was struck off the British medical rolls following scandal over his methods, had earlier sued journalist Brian Deer in the U.K.; this time he has filed an action in Texas [Respectful Insolence, Popehat]. As parents decline vaccination, whooping cough and measles make a deadly comeback [Amy Alkon, Orac]
James Beck explains and Orac has some strong views as well (“I’m afraid Justice Sotomayor borders on the delusional when she blithely proclaims that courts are so good at efficiently disposing of meritless product liability claims.”) More: Kathleen Seidel and footnotes.
P.S. But preemption does not carry the day in an automotive case, Williamson v. Mazda.
Six years late, the online publication is throwing in the towel on a notorious venture into antiscientific claptrap by America’s Most Irresponsible Public Figure®, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Meanwhile, Carter at Point of Law reports that the newly civility-aware celebrity environmentalist will be headlining a “Progressive Voices Cruise” of the Caribbean that by total coincidence will also feature attorney Michael Papantonio, with whose Levin Papantonio injury-law firm the hothead scion has long been associated, a connection curiously absent from his current Wikipedia page and most other coverage (& welcome Jonathan Adler readers).
A British Medical Journal editorial confirms that scientific misconduct by then-Dr. Andrew Wakefield was even worse than previously assumed. The resulting media-fueled panic led parents to refuse vaccination in large numbers, and childhood scourges such as measles soared as a result, with disability and even death resulting. Wakefield was being financed by lawyers hoping to sue the vaccine industry. [Respectful Insolence, CNN, AP, Adler]
Such at least is one reading of the federal government’s unusual decision to settle the Hannah Poling vaccine compensation claim [Michael Krauss at PoL]
There’s even a comic book about the controversy [Darryl Cunningham via BoingBoing; earlier]
Beck et al see hope in a decision by the Federal Circuit.
Respectful Insolence, last month:
Well, that didn’t take long.
Remember when the grande dame of the anti-vaccine movement, Barbara Loe Fisher, decided that she would try to harass, intimidate, and silence Paul Offit through the filing of a frivolous libel suit against Dr. Offit, Amy Wallace (the journalist who interviewed Offit for an excellent article last year), and Condé Nast, the publisher of WIRED, which ran the article? Well, the judge has ruled, and that ruling is…dismissed.
More: VLW (Virginia Lawyers Weekly) Blog, Volokh.