Legal victory for Steve Novella

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A long running lawsuit against Dr Steve Novella has finally ended with the last claims against him being dismissed.

Novella is a US clinical neurologist, assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine, and is best known in Skeptical circles as the founder and co-host of the Skeptical Guide to the Universe (SGU) podcast.

The case brought against him concerned an article he had written in 2013 that was critical of claims made by Dr Edward Tobinick that perispinal etanercept can treat a variety of neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and Parkinson’s disease.

Tobinick, who runs the Institute of Neurological Recovery in Florida, sued Novella for libel, but all of the claims against Novella were dropped, changed during the course of the action, and/or eventually dismissed.

SGU had sought donations to a legal fund to cover Novella’s defence – in addition to Novella, the suit was filed against the Society for Science-Based Medicine (SFSBM), Yale University and SGU Productions.

A statement from SGU says: “Defending even a frivolous law suit can be very expensive, and the SGU and Dr Novella would like to thank everyone who contributed to our legal defence fund. The total cost of the case was many times the amount of donations, but it was still critical to keeping our defence going.

“We will be recovering some of our fees in the case. The exact amount we recover remains to be seen, and we will keep you updated. We hope to recover enough that we can create a legal defence fund to help shield the SGU and SBM from future threats of suit.”

A full account of the case can be found on the Science-Based Medicine site.

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