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Evidence, Legal Admissibility of Scientific

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

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 ...

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