Ninth Circuit Expands Admissibility of Scientific Evidence

Fletcher, Tom
August 2005
Ecology Law Quarterly;2005, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p729
Academic Journal
The article discusses the case Clausen v. M/V New Carissa, wherein an admissible differential diagnosis was conducted to establish causation in the death of an oyster crop after an oil spill. The owners of the New Carissa were sued under the Federal Oil Pollution Act and the Oregon Spill Act, which hold the parties responsible for an oil spill liable for the damages caused by the spill. Expert testimony from marine biologists were introduced by both parties to determined whether the spill caused the Clausens' oysters to die. The experts determined that the deaths were caused by a bacterial infection of lesions in the oysters' gills. The jury considered the testimony and found for the plaintiffs. The decision was appealed by the defendants, claiming that the district court abused its discretion by admitting the testimony.


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