It has been reported that Andrew Wakefield’s case against Fiona Godlee, Brian Deer and the BMJ has been thrown out. The Statesman has this: “In a one-paragraph order, Travis County District Judge Amy Clark Meachum said Texas courts don’t have jurisdiction over the parties Wakefield sued. She tossed out the case.”
Wakefield has been quoted as saying that he plans to appeal. Defense attorney Marc Fuller, meanwhile, has said: “from our perspective, it’s over”. According to the Statesman, Godlee and Deer “called the case frivolous and said it fit a pattern of Wakefield trying to silence his critics with lawsuits”.
Brian Deer’s website has a page on the anti-SLAPP motion (that links to this PDF of the Judge’s order). The page describes Wakefield’s lawsuit as a fourth attempt to gag the media. The judgement of Justice Eady in one such case is available here. I think the following comment supports the view that Wakefield attempts to silence his critics with lawsuits:
I am quite satisfied, therefore, that the Claimant wished to extract whatever advantage he could from the existence of the proceedings while not wishing to progress them or to give the Defendants an opportunity of meeting the claims.
H/T Brian Morgan for pointing out the story.
More on this story from Left Brain / Right Brain: link.
Update, 6th August 2012: see also The Millenium Project and BMJ. Age of Autism do their best to concoct a conspiracy theory: link; and Orac has a blog post on how weak their best efforts are: linky. I’ll add more links to coverage as and when I spot them.