January 06, 2012

#Antivaxxer #Wakefield sues British Medical Journal

The fraudulent-for-money antivaxxer quack Andrew Wakefield is suing the British Medical Journal for ... er ... calling him fraudulent!
"The Defamatory Statements were and are false and written and published with actual malice and intended to cause damage to Dr. Wakefield's reputation and to permanently impair his reputation and livelihood," says the suit, filed Tuesday. It seeks unspecified damages.

The journal issued a statement saying that it stood by the writings and would "defend the claim vigorously." Wakefield, who is seeking a jury trial, has a "history of pursuing unfounded litigation, (so) any action brought against the BMJ and Mr Deer in London would have been immediately vulnerable to being struck out as an abuse of process," an email from the journal says. Wakefield referred questions to his lawyer, William Parrish, who did not return calls Friday.
The Austin American-Statesman story doesn't make clear whether Wakefield, who lives in Texas, is suing in U.S. or British court. But, given the straitjacket-tight British libel laws, I'll assume the suit is over there.

Otherwise, the issue of "what reputation" comes to mind. And, because Wakefield is likely to lose, the next question is ... who's funding him? He doesn't have that type of money in his own pockets any more.

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