Translator Disclaimer
August, 1988 Biological Markers in Tort Litigation
Ralph H. Johnson
Statist. Sci. 3(3): 367-370 (August, 1988). DOI: 10.1214/ss/1177012839


Epidemiologic studies provide quantitative information about the pathologic role of a single risk factor in large populations, but available biostatistical data are not sufficient to apportion liability when exposure to more than one potential risk factor has occurred. Given this scientific void, some courts, upon a threshold demonstration of negligence, have shifted the burden of proof regarding causation to the defendant--forcing him to prove a negative--that he did not cause the plaintiff's injuries. To the extent biologic markers become a scientifically acceptable and legally reliable means of proving that exposure to a particular risk factor caused a specific disease, judicial decisions regarding disease causation can be made with scientific certainty and without subjunctive reference to the defendant's purported negligence.


Download Citation

Ralph H. Johnson. "Biological Markers in Tort Litigation." Statist. Sci. 3 (3) 367 - 370, August, 1988.


Published: August, 1988
First available in Project Euclid: 19 April 2007

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/ss/1177012839

Rights: Copyright © 1988 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.3 • No. 3 • August, 1988
Back to Top