Daubert V. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals

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Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ~ 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786

CRM 344: Scientific Writing and Courtroom Testimony

Professor Gardner

Saint Leo University

April 25, 2013

Abstract

Daubert and other minors, suffered limb reduction birth defects; they claim the defects were caused when their mothers ingested drugs manufactured by the Defendant, Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Defendant), while they were pregnant. When the United States Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., it began a wide-ranging debate about the rules that govern the admissibility of expert testimony in both state and federal trials. The courts of nineteen states have adopted Daubert, and those of eleven, including Florida, have apparently rejected it.

There were two minors that brought suit against Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, claiming they suffered limb reduction birth defects. This appeal deals with an evidentiary question:  whether certain expert scientific testimony is admissible to prove that Bendectin caused the plaintiffs' birth defects because their mothers had taken Bendectin, a drug prescribed for morning sickness to about 17.5 million pregnant women in the United States between 1957 and 1982. Jose F. Cordero stated, “They know birth defects occur in 2-3% of births, whether or not the expectant mother has taken Bendectin. For the most part, they do not know how birth defects come about". In the circumstances of this case,, it was determined that the interests of justice and judicial economy will best be served by deciding those issues that are properly before them and offering guidance on the application of the Daubert standard in this circuit. The admissibility of Merrell's expert's affidavit did not matter; the question is whether plaintiffs adduced enough admissible evidence to create a genuine...
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