On 15 May 2012 the High Court refused special leave to appeal from the decision of the Full Federal Court to refuse to award damages in the Vioxx class action.
The representative applicant alleged that arthritis drug Vioxx caused his heart attack, but the courts disagreed. After the High Court’s decision, the traditional approach to issues of causation stands (the “but for” test). That said, the Chief Justice’s remarks in refusing special leave open the possibility that the High Court might relax the requirements of causation if it is given the right set of facts.
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