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Texas Supreme Court finishes off Garza v. Merck

In a unanimous opinion that is no surprise to readers of Point of Law, the Texas Supreme Court threw out the entirety of the Garza v. Merck Vioxx case Friday on the grounds that the junk-science expert evidence didn't meet the standards of Havner, the Texas equivalent of Daubert. A Texas appellate court had earlier remanded the case for a new trial, discarding the original multi-million dollar verdict on juror misconduct grounds. [Garza v. Merck via Beck; but see criticism from Oliver]

Cases like this demonstrate why it's silly to use purely quantitative counts when trying to determine if a reviewing court is "pro-business." Any reasonable court, given the precedent, would have reached the result the Texas Supreme Court did. But the lower courts made ridiculously anti-business decisions that flouted Texas Supreme Court precedent, with the trial court countenancing appalling juror misconduct. The decision is a victory for business and the rule of law, but if the lower courts had not been anti-business, this case never would have gotten to the Texas Supreme Court in the first place to inflate its "pro-business" statistics. Related.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.