Thursday, 15 April 2010

Breaking news: British Chiropractic Association drop libel case against Simon Singh

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There's good news spreading across the internet like a cloud of volcanic ash through British airspace this morning – the British Chiropractic Association has dropped its libel case against Simon Singh, after the Court of Appeal recently ruled that Singh could defend comments he made about chiropractic in a 2008 Guardian article on the grounds of "fair comment".

With Simon Singh stating recently that the "action has cost £200,000 to establish the meaning of a few words", the decision to try to sue Singh could prove extremely costly for the BCA, who will now be expected to pick up the cost of this lenghty legal case.

Now the case is over, let's remind ourselves of what Singh wrote about chiropractic in the Guardian article:
"You might think that modern chiropractors restrict themselves to treating back problems, but in fact they still possess some quite wacky ideas. The fundamentalists argue that they can cure anything. And even the more moderate chiropractors have ideas above their station. The British Chiropractic Association claims that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence. This organisation is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments."
More news on this when it emerges.

Update: The Times have a quote from Simon Singh, in which he expresses his intention to pursue the BCA for legal costs:
“It’s a huge relief to suddenly have this whole thing disappear. I’m still getting my head around it. I’ve got stacks of paperwork here in my office, relating to chiropractic and legal documents, and I don’t have to look at it as of today. I don’t know whether I’ll stick it in the attic or burn it.”

He said he would be pursuing the BCA for his legal costs. “The issue of costs is still outstanding. I suppose it will cost the BCA upward of £300,000, and I want to make sure they end up paying my legal costs, which will be over £100,000. It could be that I don’t get that money back: that explains why people don’t fight libel cases.”


Anonymous said...

Indeed. Instead of being over, this is where the real case begins. The true chilling effect of libel suits is the time and exorbitant cost of defending against them. Bravo to Singh for undertaking this challenge. May his point be underlined repeatedly in the press.

Anonymous said...

Vis a vis the immense costs that the fraudulent quitters at the BCA have accrued, here's an idea: they could put a pound coin in a bucket of water, and say it's now got the same effect as four hundred thousand pounds.

If they're jailed for contempt of court, they could sue.

Tyler said...

Lol, monetary water memory... if only!