Andrew Wakefield, who was stripped of his British medical license in 2010 after his autism research had been discredited, cannot sue a British magazine, editor and reporter for defamation in Texas, a state appeals court ruled Friday.
The articles in the British Medical Journal — raising substantial questions about the accuracy of Wakefield’s 1998 study alleging a link between autism and vaccines — did not have strong enough ties to Texas to give Wakefield access to the district court in Austin, where he lives, the 3rd Court of Appeals said.
State courts lack jurisdiction over the British publication because its 2011 articles did not concern Texas or activities that occurred in Texas, nor were they aimed at Texans, said the opinion, written by Justice Scott Field.
“The publications concerned Wakefield’s conduct and activities that occurred in England, and Texas is never mentioned in any of the articles,” Field wrote.
The court upheld District Judge Amy Clark Meachum’s decision to toss out Wakefield’s lawsuit because Texas courts lacked jurisdiction over the defendants, including reporter Brian Deer and editor Fiona Godlee.