Science vs. the Law: A Courtroom Battle

Feb 15, 2019
  • In lawsuits involving medicines and chemical products (like Roundup), science is often at center stage of the arguments. However a big question looms over how the evidence should be presented, and what weight should it be given?

    How has scientific evidence been evaluated?

    There is a uniform level at the federal level for what qualifies as acceptable for scientific evidence vs. at the state level where the standard can vary based on the state. An additional factor is that science is constantly being debated within the medical field, especially if it is unknown what exactly can cause a certain disease. This puts judges in a precarious position where according to law professor Alexander Lemann “It’s a problem that’s not solved by having the judge be a more aggressive gatekeeper.”

    What approaches are being taken to solve this issue?

    An upcoming trial involving pharmaceutical company Bayer AG and their herbicide product Roundup was recently split into two phases where the plaintiff’s attorneys must use scientific evidence to demonstrate that Roundup caused their client’s cancer before they can go ahead and argue that Bayer was liable and fault (read more about this trial here). It is not a fix-all however, as one Minnesota state judge commented when interviewed on the topic by the Wall Street Journal that he believes even more reforms are needed, but that the whole system does not need to be disregarded as some have pushed for.

    I have been injured through the use of Roundup. What options do I have?

    If you or a loved one have been injured through the use of Roundup please contact our office at  to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our experienced attorneys.