December 05, 2018 Articles

Causation and the Role of the Damages Expert

What legal and analytical traps do experts often fall into when misapplying the concept of proximate causation?

by Peter Rybolt

The question can seem deceptively simple: Did defendant’s actions cause plaintiff’s losses? Yet courts, lawyers, experts, and juries often struggle to find a clear and satisfying answer, particularly when faced with multiple possible explanations for plaintiff’s apparent losses and a dizzying array of legal terms and concepts—proximate cause, cause-in-fact, intervening causes, sufficient and insufficient causes, dependent and independent causes, preemption, and more.

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