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Substitution of defendants

Litigation Letter

Substitution of defendants

Aventis Pasteur v O’Byrne ECJ C-358/08; SJ 8 December p5

In November 2000, Declan O’Byrne’s parents claimed that the child had suffered severe brain damage after being treated with a vaccine produced by Aventis Pasteur. They sued the pharmaceutical company’s UK subsidiary, but it argued that the correct defendant should be its parent company. The claimants obtained an order for a substitution of defendant but the defendants argued that the claim had by then become time-barred. The Court of Appeal allowed the substitution but the House of Lords referred the matter to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

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