Mass Torts: State of the Art

Mass Torts: State of the Art

Monthly Archives: August 2011


Posted in Causality, Epidemiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Toxicology
There’s little evidence that parental exposure to solvents is associated with their children’s ALL. Hospitals and clinics have take-home exposure issues too. The endocrine disruption hypothesis: good science has its boots on and is beating back a good, but unsound, narrative Mesothelioma does run in families. Colon cancer is probably also caused by a disrupted… Continue Reading

Evidence and Causality

Posted in Causality
If you’re interested in the issue of causation a great place to start is page 4 (through 9) of the Institute of Medicine’s new report "Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality". There’s lots to consider. For example,support for the Texas Supreme Court’s recent determination that plaintiff’s will need two well done epi studies to… Continue Reading

Havner: Now We’re Really Confused

Posted in Epidemiology, Reason, The Law
The Texas Supreme Court just decided Merck v. Garza. The relatively short opinion rolls along (1) reaffirming Havner; (2) apparently adding the further requirement of a second well done epidemiological study "statistically significant at the 95% confidence level" that shows a doubling of risk; (3) rejecting the "totality of the evidence" ipse dixit of plaintiff’s expert; but… Continue Reading

The Malleability of Memory

Posted in Reason
Upon reading the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Larry R. Henderson the first thought that occurred to me was that if courts hearing toxic tort cases in which product identification is an issue were to scrutinize such testimony under a similar standard our toxic justice problem would soon be solved. The science stuff starts on… Continue Reading

Speaking of Dusty Death

Posted in Epidemiology
 … there are lots of new papers associating various sorts of dusts with cancer, pneumonia and cardiovascular disease. We’ve previously discussed the correlation between endotoxins and a reduced risk of lung cancer but how to square those studies with ones like "Occupational Exposure to Organic Dust Increases Lung Cancer Risk in the General Population" (which identifies… Continue Reading


Posted in The Law
‘Twere viral miRNAs that lighted way to dusty death? North Dakota erionite is associated with pleural and interstitial changes. Courts take note: "peer review is a coarse and fallible filter." Is the Raybestos Manhattan friction-products factory food fight egged on by lawyers? Tellingly, a perspective on the Food Safety Modernization Act fails to answer its… Continue Reading

An Early Return Indeed

Posted in The Law
For more evidence that Milward v. Acuity is “one of the most significant toxic tort cases in recent memory” check out footnote 53 of "Introduction: The Third Restatement of Torts in a Crystal Ball" . To see what else is in the works check out those portions of the paper discussing the assault on the… Continue Reading

Way To Go, Joe

Posted in The Law
I’ve got to brag on my partner, Joe Lonardo. He just prevailed in a benzene/leukemia case before the Vermont Supreme Court and the opinion is well worth the time required to read and digest it. Building on its decision in Estate of George v. Vermont League of Cities and Towns the court embraced critical thinking… Continue Reading

From Post-Normal Science to Post-Normal Law?

Posted in Reason, The Law
Carl Cranor certainly understands the impact of Milward v. Acuity as you can see from his recent blog post at the Center for Progressive Reform. Over the coming days we’ll examine several of Cranor’s points but for today let’s start with his enthusiastic approval of the appellate court’s rejection of "an ‘atomistic’ study-by-study assessment of the scientific… Continue Reading