Toxic Torts and Causation: The Challenge of Daubert after the First Decade
Natural Resources and Environment, Vol. 17, 2003
7 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2012
Date Written: 2003
This article looks back on the first decade following the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The test set forth by the Court for the admissibility of scientific evidence acquired by the scientific method, and its subsequent extension and explanation of the test in General Electric Co. v. Joiner and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, have exerted significant substantive influence over certain areas of the law, including toxic torts. Because toxic tort plaintiffs rely heavily on expert scientific testimony to prove causation, the evidentiary standards applied to admissibility of that evidence may make or break a case. Over the first ten years, Daubert has generated more complex questions in toxic torts than the doctrine has answered. This article explores some of those questions, with particular emphasis on the treatment of novel scientific methodologies.
Keywords: toxic torts, scientific evidence, Daubert
JEL Classification: K13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation