According to Associated Press, the court decision quashed a motion by Grunenthal that hearings relating to the Thalidomide suit be held in Germany, where the firm argued its defence will be properly presented since its witnesses are based in the European country.
Legal representatives of the plaintiffs, Gordon Legal and Slater & Gordon, laid out compensation claims for victims who suffered the side effects of Thalidomide, widely recommended by doctors in the 1950s for pregnant women having bouts with morning sickness.
However, later findings showed that the drug caused birth deformities, which prompted Grunenthal to discontinue its Thalidomide production in 1961.
That same year, Distillers and Diageo, two drug retailers that sold Thalidomide in Australia, pulled the drug out of the market.
As many as 100 Australian victims, according to Gordon Legal and Slater & Gordon, seek compensation from Grunenthal, Distillers and Diageo that will cover for their sufferings, lost productivity and succeeding health care costs.
The victims, according to the law firm, were born between Jan 1 1958 and Dec 31 1970 and are now carrying with them birth defects suffered their mothers were given Thalidomide.
AP identified one of the Australian victims as Lynette Rowe, who was born without arms and legs.
Her father, Ian Rowe, expressed relief that the suit they filed appears to be heading on a positive resolution that hopefully will favour the victims.
"We really need to know now that Lynette will be provided for when we can no longer do it ourselves," the 80-year-old father told AP.
His optimism could soon produce results akin to the decision made by the British government last when it issued a formal apology to individuals affected by Thalidomide, which was marketed by the UK-based Distillers.
London also agreed to pay Thalidomide victims up to $31 million.
On its part, Grunenthal insisted, in a new release, that it "acted responsibly in the development of thalidomide ... that took place 50 years ago."
"Our actions were consistent with the state of scientific knowledge and the prevailing standards for pre-marketing and testing of the pharmaceutical industry in the 1950s," the pharmaceutical firm stressed.
In a statement sent to the International Business Times, Diageo representative David McCarthy clarified that the company was never involved in distributing Thalidomide, stressing that the UK-based firm was a "premium alcoholic beverage company ... and never has been a drug retailer." (Corrections inserted)
McCarthy, however, admitted that Diageo was somewhat linked to Distillers, subsidiaries of which marketed the drug in Australia and New Zealand from late 1960 to November 1961, but only as the resulting entity that came out when Grand Metropolitan and Guinness merged in 1997.
Earlier in 1986, Guinness took over Distillers, which McCarthy pointed out, solely engaged with Grunenthal on their distributing agreement of Thalidomide that was struck and terminated decades after Diageo came into the picture.
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