TORTINI

For your delectation and delight, desultory dicta on the law of delicts.

The Contrivance Standard for Gatekeeping

March 23rd, 2019

According to Google ngram, the phrase “junk science” made its debut circa 1975, lagging junk food by about five years. SeeThe Rise and Rise of Junk Science” (Mar. 8, 2014). I have never much like the phrase “junk science” because it suggests that courts need only be wary of the absurd and ridiculous in their gatekeeping function. Some expert witness opinions are, in fact, serious scientific contributions, just not worthy of being advanced as scientific conclusions. Perhaps better than “junk” would be patho-epistemologic opinions, or maybe even wissenschmutz, but even these terms might obscure that the opinion that needs to be excluded derives from serious scientific, only it is not ready to be held forth as a scientific conclusion that can be colorably called knowledge.

Another formulation of my term, patho-epistemology, is the Eleventh Circuit’s lovely “Contrivance Standard.” Rink v. Cheminova, Inc., 400 F.3d 1286, 1293 & n.7 (11th Cir. 2005). In Rink, the appellate court held that the district court had acted within its discretion to exclude expert witness testimony because it had properly confined its focus to the challenged expert witness’s methodology, not his credibility:

“In evaluating the reliability of an expert’s method, however, a district court may properly consider whether the expert’s methodology has been contrived to reach a particular result. See Joiner, 522 U.S. at 146, 118 S.Ct. at 519 (affirming exclusion of testimony where the methodology was called into question because an “analytical gap” existed “between the data and the opinion proffered”); see also Elcock v. Kmart Corp., 233 F.3d 734, 748 (3d Cir. 2000) (questioning the methodology of an expert because his “novel synthesis” of two accepted methodologies allowed the expert to ”offer a subjective judgment … in the guise of a reliable expert opinion”).”

Note the resistance, however, to the Supreme Court’s mandate of gatekeeping. District courts must apply the statutes, Rule of Evidence 702 and 703. There is no legal authority for the suggestion that a district court “may properly consider wither the expert’s methodology has been contrived.” Rink, 400 F.3d at 1293 n.7 (emphasis added).

The Joiner Finale

March 23rd, 2019

“This is the end
Beautiful friend

This is the end
My only friend, the end”

Jim Morrison, “The End” (c. 1966)


The General Electric Co. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136 (1997), case was based upon polychlorinated biphenyl exposures (PCB), only in part. The PCB part did not hold up well legally in the Supreme Court; nor was the PCB lung cancer claim vindicated by later scientific evidence. SeeHow Have Important Rule 702 Holdings Held Up With Time?” (Mar. 20, 2015).

The Supreme Court in Joiner reversed and remanded the case to the 11th Circuit, which then remanded the case back to the district court to address claims that Mr. Joiner had been exposed to furans and dioxins, and that these other chemicals had caused, or contributed to, his lung cancer, as well. Joiner v. General Electric Co., 134 F.3d 1457 (11th Cir. 1998) (per curiam). Thus the dioxins were left in the case even after the Supreme Court ruled.

After the Supreme Court’s decision, Anthony Roisman argued that the Court had addressed an artificial question when asked about PCBs alone because the case was really about an alleged mixture of exposures, and he held out hope that the Joiners would do better on remand. Anthony Z. Roisman, “The Implications of G.E. v. Joiner for Admissibility of Expert Testimony,” 1 Res Communes 65 (1999).

Many Daubert observers (including me) are unaware of the legal fate of the Joiners’ claims on remand. In the only reference I could find, the commentator simply noted that the case resolved before trial.[1] I am indebted to Michael Risinger, and Joseph Cecil, for pointing me to documents from PACER, which shed some light upon the Joiner “endgame.”

In February 1998, Judge Orinda Evans, who had been the original trial judge, and who had sustained defendants’ Rule 702 challenges and granted their motions for summary judgments, received and reopened the case upon remand from the 11th Circuit. In March, Judge Evans directed the parties to submit a new pre-trial order by April 17, 1998. At a status conference in April 1998, Judge Evans permitted the plaintiffs additional discovery, to be completed by June 17, 1998. Five days before the expiration of their additional discovery period, the plaintiffs moved for additional time; defendants opposed the request. In July, Judge Evans granted the requested extension, and gave defendants until November 1, 1998, to file for summary judgment.

Meanwhile, in June 1998, new counsel entered their appearances for plaintiffs – William Sims Stone, Kevin R. Dean, Thomas Craig Earnest, and Stanley L. Merritt. The docket does not reflect much of anything about the new discovery other than a request for a protective order for an unpublished study. But by October 6, 1998, the new counsel, Earnest, Dean, and Stone (but not Merritt) withdrew as attorneys for the Joiners, and by the end of October 1998, Judge Evans entered an order to dismiss the case, without prejudice.

A few months later, in February 1999, the parties filed a stipulation, approved by the Clerk, dismissing the action with prejudice, and with each party to bear its own coasts. Given the flight of plaintiffs’ counsel, the dismissals without and then with prejudice, a settlement seems never to have been involved in the resolution of the Joiner case. In the end, the Joiners’ case fizzled perhaps to avoid being Frye’d.

And what has happened since to the science of dioxins and lung cancer?

Not much.

In 2006, the National Research Council published a monograph on dioxin, which took the controversial approach of focusing on all cancer mortality rather than specific cancers that had been suggested as likely outcomes of interest. See David L. Eaton (Chairperson), Health Risks from Dioxin and Related Compounds – Evaluation of the EPA Reassessment (2006). The validity of this approach, and the committee’s conclusions, were challenged vigorously in subsequent publications. Paolo Boffetta, Kenneth A. Mundt, Hans-Olov Adami, Philip Cole, and Jack S. Mandel, “TCDD and cancer: A critical review of epidemiologic studies,” 41 Critical Rev. Toxicol. 622 (2011) (“In conclusion, recent epidemiological evidence falls far short of conclusively demonstrating a causal link between TCDD exposure and cancer risk in humans.”

In 2013, the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC), an independent scientific advisory body in the United Kingdom, published a review of lung cancer and dioxin. The Council found the epidemiologic studies mixed, and declined to endorse the compensability of lung cancer for dioxin-exposed industrial workers. Industrial Injuries Advisory Council – Information Note on Lung cancer and Dioxin (December 2013). See also Mann v. CSX Transp., Inc., 2009 WL 3766056, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106433 (N.D. Ohio 2009) (Polster, J.) (dioxin exposure case) (“Plaintiffs’ medical expert, Dr. James Kornberg, has opined that numerous organizations have classified dioxins as a known human carcinogen. However, it is not appropriate for one set of experts to bring the conclusions of another set of experts into the courtroom and then testify merely that they ‘agree’ with that conclusion.”), citing Thorndike v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 266 F. Supp. 2d 172 (D. Me. 2003) (court excluded expert who was “parroting” other experts’ conclusions).

Last year, an industrial cohort, followed for two decades found no increased risk of lung cancer among workers exposed to dioxin. David I. McBride, James J. Collins, Thomas John Bender, Kenneth M Bodner, and Lesa L. Aylward, “Cohort study of workers at a New Zealand agrochemical plant to assess the effect of dioxin exposure on mortality,” 8 Brit. Med. J. Open e019243 (2018) (reporting SMR for lung cancer 0.95, 95%CI: 0.56 to 1.53)


[1] Morris S. Zedeck, Expert Witness in the Legal System: A Scientist’s Search for Justice 49 (2010) (noting that, after remand from the Supreme Court, Joiner v. General Electric resolved before trial)

 

Lipitor Diabetes MDL’s Inexact Analysis of Fisher’s Exact Test

March 23rd, 2019

Muriel Bristol was a biologist who studied algae at the Rothamsted Experimental Station in England, after World War I.  In addition to her knowledge of plant biology, Bristol claimed the ability to tell whether tea had been added to milk, or the tea poured first and then milk had been added.  Bristol, as a scientist and a proper English woman, preferred the latter.

Ronald Fisher, who also worked at Rothamsted, expressed his skepticism over Dr. Bristol’s claim. Fisher set about to design a randomized experiment that would efficiently and effectively test her claim. Bristol was presented with eight cups of tea, four of which were prepared with milk added to tea, and four prepared with tea added to milk.  Bristol, of course, was blinded to which was which, but was required to label each according to its manner of preparation. Fisher saw his randomized experiment as a 2 x 2 contingency table, from he could calculate the observed outcome (and ones more extreme if there were any more extreme outcomes) using the assumption of fixed marginal rates and the hypergeometric probability distribution.  Fisher’s Exact Test was born at tea time.[1]

Fisher described the origins of his Exact Test in one of his early texts, but he neglected to report whether his experiment vindicated Bristol’s claim. According to David Salsburg, H. Fairfield Smith, one of Fisher’s colleagues, acknowledged that Bristol nailed Fisher’s Exact test, with all eight cups correctly identified. The test has gone on to become an important tool in the statistician’s armamentarium.

Fisher’s Exact, like any statistical test, has model assumptions and preconditions.  For one thing, the test is designed for categorical data, with binary outcomes. The test allows us to evaluate whether two proportions are likely different by chance alone, by calculating the probability of the observed outcome, as well as more extreme outcomes.

The calculation of an exact attained significance probability, using Fisher’s approach, provides a one-sided p-value, with no unique solution to calculating a two-side attained significance probability. In discrimination cases, the one-sided p-value may well be more appropriate for the issue at hand. The Fisher’s Exact Test has thus played an important role in showing the judiciary that small sample size need not be an insuperable barrier to meaningful statistical analysis. In discrimination cases, the one-sided p-value provided by the test is not a particular problem.[2]

The difficulty of using Fisher’s Exact for small sample sizes is that the hypergeometric distribution, upon which the test is based, is highly asymmetric. The observed one-sided p-value does not measure the probability of a result equally extreme in the opposite direction. There are at least three ways to calculate the p-value:

  • Double the one-sided p-value.
  • Add the point probabilities from the opposite tail that are more extreme than the observed point probability.
  • Use the mid-P value; that is, add all values more extreme (smaller) than the observed point probability from both sides of the distribution, PLUS ½ of the observed point probability.

Some software programs will proceed in one of these ways by default, but their doing so does guarantee the most accurate measure of two-tailed significance probability.

In the Lipitor MDL for diabetes litigation, Judge Gergel generally used sharp analyses to cut through the rancid fat of litigation claims, to get to the heart of the matter. By and large, he appears to have done a splendid job. In course of gatekeeping under Federal Rule of Evidence 702, however, Judge Gergel may have misunderstood the nature of Fisher’s Exact Test.

Nicholas Jewell is a well-credentialed statistician at the University of California.  In the courtroom, Jewell is a well-known expert witness for the litigation industry.  He is no novice at generating unreliable opinion testimony. See In re Zoloft Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 12–md–2342, 2015 WL 7776911 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 2, 2015) (excluding Jewell’s opinions as scientifically unwarranted and methodologically flawed). In re Zoloft Prod. Liab. Litig., MDL NO. 2342, 12-MD-2342, 2016 WL 1320799 (E.D. Pa. April 5, 2016) (granting summary judgment after excluding Dr. Jewell). SeeThe Education of Judge Rufe – The Zoloft MDL” (April 9, 2016).

In the Lipitor cases, some of Jewell’s opinions seemed outlandish indeed, and Judge Gergel generally excluded them. See In re Lipitor Marketing, Sales Practices and Prods. Liab. Litig., 145 F.Supp. 3d 573 (D.S.C. 2015), reconsideration den’d, 2016 WL 827067 (D.S.C. Feb. 29, 2016). As Judge Gergel explained, Jewell calculated a relative risk for abnormal blood glucose in a Lipitor group to be 3.0 (95% C.I., 0.9 to 9.6), using STATA software. Also using STATA, Jewell obtained an attained significance probability of 0.0654, based upon Fisher’s Exact Test. Lipitor Jewell at *7.

Judge Gergel did not report whether Jewell’s reported p-value of 0.0654, was one- or two-sided, but he did state that the attained probability “indicates a lack of statistical significance.” Id. & n. 15. The rest of His Honor’s discussion of the challenged opinion, however, makes clear that of 0.0654 must have been a two-sided value.  If it had been a one-sided p-value, then there would have been no way of invoking the mid-p to generate a two-sided p-value below 5%. The mid-p will always be larger than the one-tailed exact p-value generated by Fisher’s Exact Test.

The court noted that Dr. Jewell had testified that he believed that STATA generated this confidence interval by “flip[ping]” the Taylor series approximation. The STATA website notes that it calculates confidence intervals for odds ratios (which are different from the relative risk that Jewell testified he computed), by inverting the Fisher exact test.[3] Id. at *7 & n. 17. Of course, this description suggests that the confidence interval is not based upon exact methods.

STATA does not provide a mid p-value calculation, and so Jewell used an on-line calculator, to obtain a mid p-value of 0.04, which he declared statistically significant. The court took Jewell to task for using the mid p-value as though it were a different analysis or test.  Id. at *8. Because the mid-p value will always be larger than the one-sided exact p-value from Fisher’s Exact Test, the court’s explanation does not really make sense:

“Instead, Dr. Jewell turned to the mid-p test, which would ‘[a]lmost surely’ produce a lower p-value than the Fisher exact test.”

Id. at *8. The mid-p test, however, is not different from the Fisher’s exact; rather it is simply a way of dealing with the asymmetrical distribution that underlies the Fisher’s exact, to arrive at a two-tailed p-value that more accurately captures the rate of Type I error.

The MDL court acknowledged that the mid-p approach, was not inherently unreliable, but questioned Jewell’s inconsistent, selective use of the approach for only one test.[4]  Jewell certainly did not help the plaintiffs’ cause and his standing by having discarding the analyses that were not incorporated into his report, thus leaving the MDL court to guess at how much selection went on in his process of generating his opinions..  Id. at *9 & n. 19.

None of Jewell’s other calculated p-values involved the mid-p approach, but the court’s criticism begs the question whether the other p-values came from a Fisher’s Exact Test with small sample size, or other highly asymmetrical distribution. Id. at *8. Although Jewell had shown himself willing to engage in other dubious, result-oriented analyses, Jewell’s use of the mid-p for this one comparison may have been within acceptable bounds after all.

The court also noted that Jewell had obtained the “exact p-value and that this p-value was not significant.” Id. The court’s notation here, however, does not report the important detail whether that exact, unreported p-value was merely the doubled of the one-sided p-value given by the Fisher’s Exact Test. As the STATA website, cited by the MDL court, explains:

“The test naturally gives a one-sided p-value, and there are at least four different ways to convert it to a two-sided p-value (Agresti 2002, 93). One way, not implemented in Stata, is to double the one-sided p-value; doubling is simple but can result in p-values larger than one.”

Wesley Eddings, “Fisher’s exact test two-sided idiosyncrasy” (Jan. 2009) (citing Alan Agresti, Categorical Data Analysis 93 (2d ed. 2002)).

On plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration, the MDL court reaffirmed its findings with respect to Jewell’s use of the mid-p.  Lipitor Jewell Reconsidered at *3. In doing so, the court insisted that the one instance in which Jewell used the mid-p stood in stark contrast to all the other instances in which he had used Fisher’s Exact Test.  The court then cited to the record to identify 21 other instances in which Jewell used a p-value rather than a mid-p value.  The court, however, did not provide the crucial detail whether these 21 other instances actually involved small-sample applications of Fisher’s Exact Test.  As result-oriented as Jewell can be, it seems safe to assume that not all his statistical analyses involved Fisher’s Exact Test, with its attendant ambiguity for how to calculate a two-tailed p-value.


[1] Sir Ronald A. Fisher, The Design of Experiments at chapter 2 (1935); see also Stephen Senn, “Tea for three: Of infusions and inferences and milk in first,” Significance 30 (Dec. 2012); David Salsburg, The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century  (2002).

[2] See, e.g., Dendy v. Washington Hosp. Ctr., 431 F. Supp. 873 (D.D.C. 1977) (denying preliminary injunction), rev’d, 581 F.2d 99 (D.C. Cir. 1978) (reversing denial of relief, and remanding for reconsideration). See also National Academies of Science, Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence 255 n.108 (3d ed. 2011) (“Well-known small sample techniques [for testing significance and calculating p-values] include the sign test and Fisher’s exact test.”).

[3] See Wesley Eddings, “Fisher’s exact test two-sided idiosyncrasy” (Jan. 2009), available at <http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/statistics/fishers-exact-test/>, last visited April 19, 2016 (“Stata’s exact confidence interval for the odds ratio inverts Fisher’s exact test.”). This article by Eddings contains a nice discussion of why the Fisher’s Exact Test attained significance probability disagrees with the calculated confidence interval. Eddings points out the asymmetry of the hypergeometric distribution, which complicates arriving at an exact p-value for a two-sided test.

[4] See Barber v. United Airlines, Inc., 17 Fed. Appx. 433, 437 (7th Cir. 2001) (“Because in formulating his opinion Dr. Hynes cherry-picked the facts he considered to render an expert opinion, the district court correctly barred his testimony because such a selective use of facts fails to satisfy the scientific method and Daubert.”).

Apportionment and Pennsylvania’s Fair Share Act

March 14th, 2019

In 2011, Pennsylvania enacted the Fair Share Act, which was remedial legislation designed to mitigate the unfairness of joint and several liability in mass, and other, tort litigation by abrogating joint and several liability in favor of apportionment of shares among multiple defendants, including settled defendants.1

Although the statute stated the general rule in terms of negligence,2 the Act was clearly intended to apply to actions for so-called strict liability:3

“(1) Where recovery is allowed against more than one person, including actions for strict liability, and where liability is attributed to more than one defendant, each defendant shall be liable for that proportion of the total dollar amount awarded as damages in the ratio of the amount of that defendant’s liability to the amount of liability attributed to all defendants and other persons to whom liability is apportioned under subsection.”

The intended result of the legislation was for courts to enter separate and several judgments against defendants held liable in the amount apportioned to each defendant’s liability.4 The Act created exceptions for for intentional torts and for cases in which a defendant receives 60% or greater share in the apportionment.5

In Pennsylvania, as in other states, judges sometimes fall prey to the superstition that the law, procedural and substantive, does not apply to asbestos cases. Roverano v. John Crane, Inc., is an asbestos case in which the plaintiff claimed his lung cancer was caused by exposure to multiple defendants’ products. The trial judge, falling under the sway of asbestos exceptionalism, refused to apply Fair Share Act, suggesting that “the jury was not presented with evidence that would permit an apportionment to be made by it.”

The Roverano trial judge’s suggestion is remarkable, given that any plaintiff is exposed to different asbestos products in distinguishable amounts, and for distinguishable durations. Furthermore, asbestos products have distinguishable, relative levels of friability, with different levels of respirable fiber exposure for the plaintiff. In some cases, the products contain different kinds of asbestos minerals, which have distinguishable and relative levels of potency to cause the plaintiff’s specific disease. Asbestos cases, whether involving asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma claims, are more amenable to apportionment of shares among co-defendants than are “red car / blue car” cases.

Pennsylvania’s intermediate appellate court reversed the trial court’s asbestos exceptionalism, and held that upon remand, the court must:

“[a]pply a non-per capita allocation to negligent joint tortfeasors and strict liability joint tortfeasors; and permit evidence of settlements reached between plaintiffs and bankrupt entities to be included in the calculation of allocation of liability.”

Roverano v. John Crane, 2017 Pa. Super. 415, 177 A.3d 892 (2017).

The Superior Court’s decision did not sit well with the litigation industry, which likes joint and several liability, with equal shares. Joint and several liability permits plaintiffs’ counsel to extort large settlements from minor defendants who face the prospect of out-sized pro rata shares after trial, without the benefit of reductions for the shares of settled bankrupt defendants. The Roverano plaintiff appealed from the Superior Court’s straightforward application of a remedial statute.

What should be a per curiam affirmance of the Superior Court, however, could result in another act of asbestos exceptionalism by Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Media reports of the oral argument in Roverano suggest that several of the justices invoked the specter of “junk science” in apportioning shares among asbestos co-defendants.6 Disrespectfully, Justice Max Baer commented:

“Respectfully, your theory is interjecting junk science. We’ve never held that duration of contact corresponds with culpability.”7

The Pennsylvania Justices’ muddle can be easily avoided. First, the legislature clearly expressed its intention that apportionment be permitted in strict liability cases.

Second, failure-to-warn strict liability cases are, as virtually all scholars and most courts recognize, essentially negligence cases, in any event.8

Third, apportionment is a well-recognized procedure in the law of Torts, including the Pennsylvania law of torts. Apportionment of damages among various causes was recognized in the Restatement of Torts (Second) Section 433A (Apportionment of Harm to Causes), which specifies that:

(1) Damages for harm are to be apportioned among two or more causes where

(a) there are distinct harms, or

(b) there is a reasonable basis for determining the contribution of each cause to a single harm.

Restatement (Second) of Torts § 433A(1) (1965) [hereinafter cited as Section 433A].

The comments to Section 433A suggest a liberal application for apportionment. The rules set out in Section 433A apply “whenever two or more causes have combined to bring about harm to the plaintiff, and each has been a substantial factor in producing the harm … .”

Id., comment a. The independent causes may be tortious or innocent, “and it is immaterial whether all or any of such persons are joined as defendants in the particular action.” Id. Indeed, apportionment also applies when the defendant’s conduct combines “with the operation of a force of nature, or with a pre-existing condition which the defendant has not caused, to bring about the harm to the plaintiff.” Just as the law of grits applies in everyone’s kitchen, the law of apportionment applies in Pennsylvania courts.

Apportionment of damages is an accepted legal principle in Pennsylvania law. Martin v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., 515 Pa. 377, 528 A.2d 947 (1987). Courts, applying Pennsylvania law, have permitted juries to apportion damages between asbestos and cigarette smoking as causal factors in plaintiffs’ lung cancers, based upon a reasonable basis for determining the contribution of each source of harm to a single harm.9

In Parker, none of the experts assigned exact mathematical percentages to the probability that asbestos rather than smoking caused the lung cancer. The Court of Appeals noted that on the record before it:

“we cannot say that no reasonable basis existed for determining the contribution of cigarette smoking to the cancer suffered by the decedent.”10

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has itself affirmed the proposition that “liability attaches to a negligent act only to the degree that the negligent act caused the employee’s injury.”11 Thus, even in straight-up negligence cases, causal apportionment must play in a role, even when the relative causal contributions are much harder to determine than in the quasi-quantitative setting of an asbestos exposure claim.

Let’s hope that Justice Baer and his colleagues read the statute and the case law before delivering judgment. The first word in the name of the legislation is Fair.


1 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7102.

2 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7102(a)

3 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7102(a)(1) (emphasis added).

4 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7102(a)(2).

5 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7102 (a)(3)(ii), (iii).

7 Id. (quoting Baer, J.).

8 See, e.g, Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability § 2, and comment I (1998); Fane v. Zimmer, Inc., 927 F.2d 124, 130 (2d Cir. 1991) (“Failure to warn claims purporting to sound in strict liability and those sounding in negligence are essentially the same.”).

9 Parker v. Bell Asbestos Mines, No. 86-1197, unpublished slip op. at 5 (3d Cir., Dec. 30, 1987) (per curiam) (citing Section 433A as Pennsylvania law, and Martin v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. , 515 Pa. 377, 528 A.2d 947, 949 (1987))

10 Id. at 7.

11 Dale v. Baltimore & Ohio RR., 520 Pa. 96, 106, 552 A.2d 1037, 1041 (1989). See also McAllister v. Pennsylvania RR., 324 Pa. 65, 69-70, 187 A. 415, 418 (1936) (holding that plaintiff’s impairment, and pain and suffering, can be apportioned between two tortious causes; plaintiff need not separate damages with exactitude); Shamey v. State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co., 229 Pa. Super. 215, 223, 331 A.2d 498, 502 (1974) (citing, and relying upon, Section 433A; difficulties in proof do not constitute sufficient reason to hold a defendant liable for the damage inflicted by another person). Pennsylvania law is in accord with the law of other states as well, on apportionment. See Waterson v. General Motors Corp., 111 N.J. 238, 544 A.2d 357 (1988) (holding that a strict liability claim against General Motors for an unreasonably dangerous product defect was subject to apportionment for contribution from failing to wear a seat belt) (the jury’s right to apportion furthered the public policy of properly allocating the costs of accidents and injuries).

The opinions, statements, and asseverations expressed on Tortini are my own, or those of invited guests, and these writings do not necessarily represent the views of clients, friends, or family, even when supported by good and sufficient reason.