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Paul Thomas tries to deter Oregon Medical Board with harassing lawsuit

This article about how Dr. Paul Thomas is trying to deter the Oregon Medical Board with a lawsuit was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about vaccination’s social and legal policies. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

Anti-vaccine Oregon pediatrician Paul Thomas is unhappy that the medical board is – finally – acting against him for misleading parents on vaccines and providing sub-standard care. So he decided to sue the medical board with a lawsuit that, for the most part, is designed to harass. He may have one procedural point, but it’s not likely to justify the rest of his many claims, and board members may turn the tables on him using Oregon’s anti-SLAPP law.

Read More »Paul Thomas tries to deter Oregon Medical Board with harassing lawsuit
Andrew Wakefield was wronged

Litigating as “debate” tactic? Wakefield appeal was denied

In January 2012 Andrew Wakefield, a British citizen residing in Texas, sued Brian Deer, a British journalist, the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and Dr. Fiona Godlee, the British editor of BMJ, in a Texas trial Court for libel. Wakefield claimed that a series of articles titled “Secrets of the MMR Scare” written by Brian Deer, edited by Fiona Godlee and published in the BMJ were defamatory. The articles detailed serious scientific misconduct by Andrew Wakefield.

On August 3, 2012, Wakefield’s suit was dismissed based on a lack of jurisdiction. Wakefield then appealed the dismissal. On September 19, 2014 the Texas Court of Appeals for the Third District ruled that the Andrew Wakefield appeal was denied (pdf).

The decision itself is focused on issues of civil procedure that may be less of interest to non-lawyers, though these issues are crucially important to litigants and lawyers. But this story is a good demonstration of strategic use of litigation by Andrew Wakefield and an opportunity to discuss the advantages and potential problems of that approach.Read More »Litigating as “debate” tactic? Wakefield appeal was denied