The Grunenthal files - many of which have been reproduced in the Victorian Supreme Court by the Slater & Gordon lawyer Michael Magazanik - expose a 50-year global cover-up and demolish the company's long-held position that the scandal was an unforeseeable tragedy and that its ''actions were consistent with the state of scientific knowledge and prevailing standards of the 1950s''.

The files reveal that for at least two years before the drug was banned, German medical professionals had individually told Grunenthal staff of their concerns that their patients' or own children's deformities were caused by women taking thalidomide duringpregnancy..........

It wasn't until November 1961 that the company finally moved to ban the drug after getting now well-known reports by Dr Widikund Lenz and the Australian obstetrician William McBride about the links between the epidemic of birth defects and thalidomide.

The company at this time began formulating its position that it was not to blame.