German firm wins appeal in Spain thalidomide case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish court has upheld an appeal by a German pharmaceutical company, ditching a previous ruling that ordered the company to pay compensation to 22 Spaniards who blame their disabilities on the drug thalidomide.

Madrid*s provincial court announced the ruling Wednesday, saying the statute of limitations for the plaintiffs' case had expired.

In November 2013, the court had ordered Gruenenthal to pay 20,000 euros ($25,500) for each percentage point of disability of the victims as recognized by Spain's Health Ministry. The total sum sought was not made known at the time.

Thalidomide was a sedative that some doctors prescribed between 1950 and 1960 for morning sickness. Thousands of babies whose mothers used it were born worldwide with abnormally short limbs and in some cases without arms, legs or hips.