06/21/2017 02:39 EDT | Updated 06/21/2017 02:41 EDT

EU court: Vaccines can be blamed for problems without proof

LONDON — The highest court of the European Union says that even in cases where there is no scientific proof to suggest a vaccine is defective, courts may conclude in individual cases that the vaccines are to blame under certain circumstances.

The decision was issued on Wednesday in relation to the case of a Frenchman known as Mr. J.W., who was vaccinated against hepatitis B in late 1998-99. About a year later, Mr. J.W. was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Numerous studies have found no relationship between the hepatitis B vaccination and multiple sclerosis.

The court said that despite the lack of scientific evidence, a vaccine can be considered defective if there is "specific and consistent evidence," including the time between a vaccine's administration and the occurrence of a disease.