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For four decades, the company Toyota commissioned to investigate allegations of unintended acceleration has played a central role in many of the most heated auto safety debates, almost exclusively working for the auto industry.
The company, Exponent, is part of a thriving industry of firms that do research and scientific and engineering analysis for hire and provide expert testimony and reports for companies facing product disputes, government regulation and lawsuits. Critics claim Exponent will go to any length to get test results favoring its clients…
“In virtually every case that I have been in, Exponent was on the other side as an expert,” says Savannah, Ga., plaintiff attorney Jim Carter. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a seat back failure or a roof failure or a steering failure. They will come up with an expert to testify in their favor if they are asked by a car company.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”