Sorry to say, but this headline is misleading. It should be, tragically misguided and overzealous parents with the help of greedy trial lawyers pursue junk science on mercury-autism link. For the facts of the matter, folks should go to http://www.stats.org to see how most of the media coverage is giving way too much credence to the fringe group that has been pursuing this case.
The claim that mercury causes autism has as much science behind as the claim that witches and Jews caused the Black Plague in the middle ages. It has been investigated again and again. Like most safety signals, they were first detected by the same sort of people who see danger lurking in every public health advance, who see a government or corporate conspiracy to first introduce and then cover up the spread of the poison.
The case is only a first step towards a large junk science inspired civil court suit since the hearing this is before a federal vaccine injury compensation board (Rosemary Johan-Liang is now a medical reviewer with this board.:
My colleague Paul Offit, MD who developed the rotavirus vaccine -- who has been threatened with murder by autism conspiracy theorist crazed parents -- has a good article about the stakes in this trial.