Using Scientific Evidence to Resolve Causation Problems in Product Liability: UK, US and French Experiences

Richard S Goldberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Proof of causation in product liability litigation is an inherently difficult problem, which regularly requires time-consuming analysis of complex scientific evidence. By no means has this been merely a recent phenomenon. For instance, almost 40 years ago, in Ashington Piggeries Ltd v Christopher Hill Ltd the defendants were successful in proving, but only after a 50-day trial in the High Court, that the death of their mink was caused by the presence of the contaminating chemical dimethylnitrosamine (DMNA) in the herring meal of the plaintiffs’ mink feed. However, in recent years, the cases have become even more complex, demanding much from lawyers and scientific experts on both sides and the judges themselves.

This chapter examines the recent trends in such litigation in the UK, US and in France. In essence, it seeks to determine the extent to which the courts in these countries in the highlighted cases have been pragmatic and fair in their interpretation and utilisation of epidemiological evidence from the perspective of both consumers and producers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspective on Causation
EditorsRichard Goldberg
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherHart Publishing
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4725-6102-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-8494-6086-6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2011
EventPerspectives on Causation - University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen , United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Jun 200923 Jun 2009


ConferencePerspectives on Causation
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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