Note: This English translation is unofficial. Only the original German text carries legal authority.

Contergan victim makes a stand against defamation

Press release dated 5.9.2016

On 7.6.2016 the Contergan victim Andreas Meyer submitted a petition for injunction and retraction to the Bonn Regional Court. He is suing Attorney Karl Schucht from Bonn. The background: on 1.2.2013, Meyer made a public statement at a public hearing of the Family Affairs Committee of the 17th German Federal Parliament in his capacity as a member of the Council of the Contergan Foundation and as Chairman of the BCG. Meyer declared that for 30 years the Grünenthal company had been looking at the medical files of Contergan victims in the Contergan Foundation. Meyer was referring here to the double role of Attorney Herbert Wartensleben. In the Contergan trial, Wartensleben was the head of Grünenthal’s Legal Department. But at the same time, from 1972 until the end of 2003 Wartensleben was Chairman of one of the two Medical Commissions of the Contergan Foundation. At the same time, Wartensleben acted again and again as Grünenthal’s legal representative in cases relating to Contergan, most recently in 2007 in the lawsuits concerning the two-part ARD feature film “Eine einzige Tablette” (One single tablet). Meyer added that for 30 years Grünenthal had been paying the experts on the Medical Commissions of the Contergan Foundation. Meyer also described further scandalous occurrences in the Contergan Foundation. Until today, the Ministry of Family Affairs has been responsible for supervision of the Contergan Foundation. Subsequently, Attorney Karl Schucht responded to Meyer’s allegations in a letter dated 22.2.2013 to all members of the Family Affairs Committee. In this letter, Schucht asserted that Meyer’s allegations were untrue. Schucht took over the chairmanship of the Medical Commission from Wartensleben in 2004 and held this office until the end of 2009. From the end of 2009 until the end of 2014, Schucht was a member of the Management Board of the Contergan Foundation. Since the beginning of 2010, the chairmanship of the Medical Commission has been held by colleagues from Schucht’s law firm. Meyer’s allegations resulted in two Minor Interpellations by the Parliamentary Group Die Linke (Left Party) in the German Federal Parliament on 4.4.2013. Following Schucht’s letter, Meyer was not invited as a Contergan expert to an expert meeting in the Federal Parliament on 15.4.2013. With his lawsuit, Meyer aims to achieve that Schucht ceases and desists from his assertions that Meyer’s allegations are untrue. Meyer also aims to achieve that Schucht retracts his assertions to the members of the Family Affairs Committee of the 17th German Federal Parliament. Meyer will be represented by Prof. Dr. Jan Hegemann from the law firm Raue Rechtsanwälte LLP in Berlin. Attorney Prof. Dr. Jan Hegemann already successfully represented Meyer in 2009 in the case of Meyer’s call to boycott the products of Dalli-Werke, Mäurer & Wirtz and 4711 – companies belonging to Grünenthal’s owners. Attorney Karl Schucht will be represented by Attorneys Gernot Lehr and Tobias Würkert LLM from the Bonn office of the law firm Redeker Sellner Dahs. For Meyer it seems noteworthy that Schucht will be represented by precisely this law firm, because its founder, Prof. Dr. Hans Dahs senior who died in 1972, represented the late owner of Grünenthal, Dr. Hermann Wirtz senior, in the Contergan trial. “Presumably Attorney Karl Schucht wrote his letter to the members of the Family Affairs Committee on 22.2.2013 as a favour to the Wirtz family, Grünenthal’s owners. And the Wirtz clan is now returning the favour through its legal representatives from the Contergan trial. The whole procedure has unexpectedly taken on a historic dimension.” said Meyer.


Please also read the following information material:

You can find the statement by Andreas Meyer to the meeting of the Family Affairs Committee on 1.2.2013 at the following link:

http://www.gruenenthal-opfer.de/Statement_Andreas_Meyer_Feb_1s_2013


The letter from Attorney Karl Schucht dated 22.2.2013 can be found at the following link:

http://www.gruenenthal-opfer.de/Letter_Attorney_Karl_Schucht_Feb_22nd_2013


The two Minor Interpellations by the then Parliamentary Group Die Linke (Left Party) on 4.4.2013 can be found at the following link:

http://www.gruenenthal-opfer.de/Two_Minor_Interpellations_Left_Party_4_4_2013


As Mr Meyer must attend meetings with politicians in Berlin from 4.9.2016 until 11.9.2016 for the 2015/2016 evaluation of the Contergan Foundation Act, he can only be reached at present on the following mobile phone number:



Contact:

Federation of Thalidomide Sufferers and Grünenthal Victims
c/o Mr Andreas Meyer (Chairman)
Dohmengasse 7 , 50829 Köln
Email: bcg-brd-dachverband@gmx.de
Website: www.gruenenthal-opfer.de
Mobile: +49 (0)172 / 2905974




Please refer details of the legal and socio-political significance of the lawsuit.


Please refer our press release dated 13.2.2017 about the court proceedings.


Please refer our press release dated 9.3.2017 about the continuation of the proceedings with no out-of-court settlement.

Note: This English translation is unofficial. Only the original German text carries legal authority.



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