Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (1993)
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In its 1993 decision Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the US Supreme Court established the Daubert Standard for evaluating the admissibility of scientific knowledge as evidence in US federal courts. When it began in trial court, the case addressed whether or not Bendectin, an anti-nausea medication taken during pregnancy, caused birth defects. However, after the trial court dismissed the case for lack of admissible evidence, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. advanced through appeals courts to the US Supreme Court, where the Justices defined the criteria by which scientific knowledge, which for them included a least theories based on evidence, expert testimony from scientists, and scientific techniques, could be introduced and used in court cases as evidence. The Daubert Standard states that the judge of a case is responsible for determining what claims are admissible as scientific knowledge and as evidence in the case. The admissibility should be determined by the falsifiability of the claims, by whether or not they had passed peer reviewed, by the general scientific acceptance of the claims, and for techniques, by their error rates of the techniques. Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. set a landmark precedent in the US judicial system and influenced most subsequent legal cases that appealed to science to establish facts in trials.