Toxic torts assert that exposure to a given agent is responsible for physical or psychological effects in the claimant. Yet the claim often arises well after a person may be tested for exposure. The Forensic Panel’s expertise includes a familiarity with the range of chemicals and toxins and how they present, in history, signs and symptoms, when exposure has occurred.
A forensic toxicologist must examine the probability of harmful effects of the environment on a person. Important features include time-related aspects of the exposure and the dosage of pollutants with which a person may come into contact.
Environmental forensics uses classical analytical chemistry tools with investigative techniques in interpretation to identify the source of environmental contaminants as well as the approximate amount of time that contaminants were released. These cases require careful consideration about the available data on causation, and an awareness of what physical effects link more directly to which specific environmental toxin.
What is the nature of the aggravating substance and its effects on the human body? Are the victim’s symptoms consistent with reported effects? Does laboratory testing offer adequate explanations for causation? Are there any other possible sources, such as medical conditions, of the victim’s symptoms? Is it possible to ascertain with reasonable certainty the root of these symptoms? Finally, how do these symptoms relate to the plaintiff’s overall level of functioning? The Forensic Panel’s forensic toxicologists have extensive experience in cases involving environmental exposure.
Peer-review ensures a diligence in the investigation of the range of possibilities to explain reported physical symptoms, and an objective and maximally informed interpretation of the available research on causation.