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BMJ invokes new Texan freedom of speech law to fight Wakefield libel case

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e2051 (Published 14 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2051
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The BMJ is invoking a new Texas law protecting freedom of speech in a bid to have thrown out the libel lawsuit brought against it by Andrew Wakefield, the researcher who sparked an international controversy over the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR).

The journal, its editor in chief, Fiona Godlee, and the investigative journalist Brian Deer have filed a motion to have the case dismissed under the anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation) statute. The law, which is similar to statutes enacted in a number of US states, protects journalists and publishers from baseless libel claims by providing a procedure under which a case …

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