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Legal vs. medical criteria for determining causation in occupational disease claims.
Ann NY Acad Sci 1989 Dec; 572:17-22
The thesis presented was that the integrity of both workers' compensation and the common law of torts is being severely compromised by the absence of empirical medical and scientific data essential to the fulfillment of the traditional legal requirement of proof of causation to a reasonable certainty by the preponderance of the relevant evidence. It has been argued that statistical evidence of disease incidence among an exposed population is not of much use in judging the condition of a specific worker, but epidemiological information will be helpful in determining the probability that that particular worker's disease was caused by the chemical exposure. One must determine not only whether the claimant's injury is the result of chemical exposure, but whether the chemical to which the claimant was exposed is capable of causing that specific injury. Epidemiological studies may be most helpful in answering these types of questions. If the specific chemical in question is capable of causing that particular disease, then it remains to be documented whether or not the amount of that chemical to which the worker was exposed was sufficient to cause that disease.
NIOSH-Publication; Legislation; Epidemiology; Carcinogenesis; Carcinogens; Risk-analysis; Worker-health; Occupational-exposure
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division