Guatemalans are suing Bristol-Myers Squibb before US court for having been infected with syphilis without their consent
Author: AFP, Published on: 7 January 2019
"Bristol-Myers Squibb to face suit", 6 Jan 2019
A federal US judge has ruled pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johns Hopkins University and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a 1940s medical experiment that saw hundreds of Guatemalans infected with syphilis.
Around 774 Guatemalan victims and relatives in 2015 launched a civil suit over the US-led experiment, which aimed to find out if penicillin could be used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
They claimed the experiment "subjected them or their family members to medical experiments in Guatemala without their knowledge or consent during the 1940s and 1950s."
US District Judge Theodore Chuang rejected arguments from the defense that a recent Supreme Court decision protecting foreign companies from US lawsuits over human rights abuses abroad also applied to domestic firms.
Related companies: Bristol-Myers Squibb