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A scathing indictment of the growing role of junk science in our courtrooms. Peter W. Huber shows how time and again lawyers have used--and the courts have accepted--spurious claims by so-called expert witnesses to win astronomical judgments that have bankrupted companies, driven doctors out of practice, and deprived us all of superior technologies and effective, life-saving therapies.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465026241
ISBN-10: 0465026249
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 135mm x 19mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 3-Mar-1993
Country of Publication: United States

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A polemic twice as long as it should be by lawyer/engineer Huber (Liability, 1988), now taking aim at the hired-hand expert witnesses who are called upon in liability cases where appeal to science is the issue. Where are the days of yore when judges exercised judgment about the credentials of experts? Or when juries acted on the conviction that victims might be self-destructive, ignorant, or otherwise to blame? All that is gone in these days of "junk" science, says Huber, in which self-proclaimed fringe scientists are given equal weight in the courtroom. So we hear about trauma-induced cancers, chemically induced AIDS, the dangers of all IUDs and of self-accelerating Audi cars (dramatically depicted on 60 Minutes). Huber sees the new let-it-all-hang-in courtroom behavior as rooted in a new liability-science that uses law to effect social control by charging accidents to the person (or agent) who might have prevented it most cheaply. So instead of blaming the victim for mistaking the accelerator for the brake, blame the car designer; blame the tobacco company and not the chain-smoker; blame the IUD for pelvic inflammatory disease and not its promiscuous user. Indeed, Huber's blame-the-victim harping mars what is often an incisive indictment of stupidity, arrogance, and deception masking as fair justice. Moreover, the question of why America is so litigious a society, driven to vicious circles of fear and distrust, suit and countersuit, and what can be clone about it are barely touched upon. Huber's appeal to good science and the noble search for truth are to be commended, but, it should be noted, manufacturers do make mistakes that cost lives, victims are often innocent, and medical science has yet to reach consensus concerning the cause and cure of many an ailment. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Peter W. Huber

Peter Huber is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy, where he specializes in issues related to technology, science, and law. His previous books include Hard Green, Liability, and Galileo's Revenge. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland. Peter W. Huber, an M.I.T.-trained engineer and a Harvard law graduate, has also taught at M.I.T. and formerly clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. A Manhattan Institute Fellow, he lives in Washington, D.C.

Books By Author Peter W. Huber

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