Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Evidence, Legal Admissibility of Scientific
Mark Gerard Haug
Product liability cases and toxic tort cases (e.g., asbestos, lead poisoning) are frequently in the news, and scientific and epidemiological evidence is often presented to support or refute the claim that the product or toxin has caused harm or injury. For a claim to succeed, the law requires evidence of general causation and specific causation. Specific causation usually requires medical evidence directly on point regarding the claimant and his circumstances. General causation takes on the larger issue of whether the alleged product or toxin can actually cause the injury. General causation requires scientific evidence of general causation and usually requires an expert such as an epidemiologist to present the scientific evidence of general causation. Accordingly, epidemiologists serve an important role in establishing or refuting claims concerning whether substances such as tobacco, alcohol, fried foods, silicone, Agent Orange, asbestos, hair coloring, electromagnetic fields, caffeine, and so on are capable of causing ...