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University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

2005

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Bayes' Law, Sequential Uncertainties, And Evidence Of Causation In Toxic Tort Cases, Neal C. Stout, Peter A. Valberg Jul 2005

Bayes' Law, Sequential Uncertainties, And Evidence Of Causation In Toxic Tort Cases, Neal C. Stout, Peter A. Valberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Judges are the gatekeepers of evidence. Arguably, the most difficult duty for a judicial gatekeeper is to screen the reliability of expert opinions in scientific fields such as medicine that are beyond the ken of most judges. Yet, judges have a duty to scrutinize such expert opinion evidence to determine its reliability and admissibility. In toxic tort cases, the issue of causation-whether the alleged exposures actually caused the plaintiffs injury-is nearly always the central dispute, and determining admissibility of expert causation opinion is a daunting challenge for most judges. We present a comprehensive review of the courts' struggles with the ...