Coincidence or Causation: The Base-Rate Fallacy

By Mark G. Zellmer of Husch Blackwell LLP

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Various articles have attempted to prove, or at least imply, causation of mesothelioma from a series of case reports. Publication of such claims is misleading as case reports cannot prove causation. Erroneous studies of non-infectious diseases have created an “epidemic of apprehension” about the effects of exposures to various substances.1 That concern has in turn affected the views of jurors, and even judges, as they grapple with causation of disease in toxic tort cases, particularly, but not only, relating to asbestos.

To demonstrate …


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