Decision Author: Robert L. Brent

Many publications, including The Scientist, and reports by individual authors have commented on the implications of the recent United States Supreme Court decision on the proper standard for admissibility of scientific evidence in the courtroom (F. Hoke, The Scientist, June 13, 1994, page 1; June 27, 1994, page 1). The decision of the court involved the evaluation of expert scientific and medical testimony provided in a product liability lawsuit involving the drug Bendectin, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (951 F.2d 1128, 1131 [9th Cir. 1992] vacated ___U.S.___, U.S.L.W. 4805, June 28, 1993). Legal interpretations of the Daubert decision by plaintiff attorneys and defense attorneys reflect a bias, since each group views the decision as favorable to them.

The entire Bendectin litigation assault was the prototype of non-meritorious litigation. Bendectin was the only medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of...

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