Schwartz and Appel Explain the Post Hoc Fallacy

Shook Partner Victor Schwartz and Of Counsel Chris Appel have authored a Legal Backgrounder article highlighting examples of the post hoc fallacy, which "presumes that if one thing follows something else, that first thing must have caused the second thing." The fallacy often underlies product liability litigation, when a plaintiff assumes but cannot prove that a product caused an adverse medical condition. 
"When juries buy into the post hoc fallacy, it can result in serious adverse consequences for society," Schwartz and Appel note. "Product liability law is replete with unfortunate examples of courts failing to adequately screen expert testimony presented to layperson jurors, allowing the post hoc fallacy to lead jurors down an improper path that jeopardizes the health and welfare of others."