With Grünenthal’s compensation offer in mind, the judge ended the proceedings in Alsdorf in December 1970 without a verdict. Everybody involved agreed. The judge concluded “minor fault” on part of the defendants. The trial had been dragging on for 283 days. A total of 26 experts and 352 witnesses had testified.
Because the trial was terminated early, some of the criminal allegations were never discussed at court, meaning many of the documents, the witness statements and the expert reports, collected by the prosecution prior to the trial, were never properly analyzed during the hearings.
Legally it was never determined if Grünenthal could have foreseen the teratogenic effects of Thalidomide.
Sources: Chronology of events provided by Beate Kirk, in: Der Conterganfall: eine unvermeidbare Arzneimittelkatastrophe? Dissertation. Greifswald 1998.
Michael Magazanik: Silent Shock. The Men behind the Thalidomide Scandal and an Australian Family’s Long Road to Justice. Melbourne 2015, p. 176.