Learning about the Dangers of Nickel Exposure

Humans are fragile beings; they can easily be harmed by dangerous chemicals and substances, which the Earth (their home) teems with. One of these substances is the element nickel. Although valued for its many uses, this metal may also cause deadly environmental diseases. Here are some other things about nickel that you have to know: Continue reading

Understanding Forensic Toxicology and Toxic Tort

Any lawsuit that involves harm received by a person from another person or entity via exposure to hazardous chemicals can be considered as toxic tort. For instance: if a certain community experiences a widespread sickness due to alleged improper waste disposal by a nearby factory, the community can file a toxic tort case against the source. As a paralegal of your law firm, you should familiarize yourself with the tasks involved when handling such cases. Continue reading

Environmental Toxicology: Why Hire an Expert Witness

While most jobs are generally safe, a few are more hazardous than the rest. E-waste recycling, sulfur mining, and sanitation are some of the industries which involve jobs that pose some health and safety risks, including the exposure to dangerous substances. In all of these, employers have the responsibility to minimize risks to employees. If a worker gets exposed to hazardous materials and becomes ill and unable to work as a result, he or she can seek justice for it if it can be proven that negligence is involved.

The victim will have to contact a personal injury lawyer. Whether it’s a chemical burn or a radiation exposure, a personal injury lawyer can create an effective strategy to prove to the court that the injury, which has impaired his client, was due to exposure to hazardous substances, caused by another party’s negligence. To do this, the complainant will need the services and testimony of an expert witness specializing in environmental toxicology.

An expert witness has the knowledge the court can rely on for factual evidence on such cases. An environmental toxicologist will make an appropriate expert witness in a case of chemical exposure, as he can show how certain chemicals can affect a person’s health or the environment.

It is crucial for lawyers and paralegals to have a network that can identify expert witnesses in these kinds of cases. The other party may also provide their own expert witness, so it is important to work only with highly-reliable professionals.

Filing a Toxic Tort vs. Medical Malpractice

If an illness arises from pharmaceuticals, should you file a toxic tort case or a medical malpractice suit? If you develop symptoms after taking a drug, you may be a victim of some form of negligence. You can consult a lawyer, who will need guidance from a forensic toxicologist or a similar professional, in determining what type of lawsuit to file.

Defective Drugs

If the pharmaceutical is defective in nature, then a toxic tort could be more appropriate. In cases like this, the defect may have risen from the manufacturing process of the drug. There could be a dangerous imbalance of ingredients, a use of incorrect or expired compounds, a contaminated medium, etc. The manufacturer or distributor would be liable for the injurious side effects that victims suffer. Usually, mass torts are filed in cases of defective drugs, involving the individuals that have taken the drugs.

Erroneous Prescription

On the other hand, if a drug has been inappropriately prescribed by a doctor, then a medical malpractice may be in order. When a doctor misjudges a patient’s condition, he/she may issue treatments that are unnecessary or unsuitable. The erroneous treatment would not be provide the right treatment, which can be financially costly at best, and physically damaging or even fatal at worst. Whatever effect the wrong prescription brings, the doctor can be held responsible for it.

Distilling Chemical Evidence

Most people do not completely understand the way poisons, drugs, and other toxic substances interact with living things. As such, when chemical evidence is brought before the courts, a toxicology expert is sometimes necessary to dispense knowledge and distill information about such chemicals so that they can support or rebuff a case.

Toxicology expert witnesses assist in exposing, explaining, and questioning the clues associated with toxic substances. Their typical functions include: Continue reading

Lights! Camera! Science!

Over the last decade or so, “CSI” has become synonymous with forensic science. The popular television series “Crime Scene Investigation”, which debuted in October 2000, has generated significant interest about the science behind crime-solving. One such area is forensic toxicology, or the ability to identify the presence foreign substances. Continue reading

Environmental Toxicology Experts Help Prove a Case

When a personal injury lawsuit or a tort case involves the possibility of people being exposed to some harmful and potentially lethal chemicals, lawyers need to call on environmental toxicology experts to help them build their case.

Environmental toxicology experts bank on specialized knowledge acquired through continuing professional education, along with years of invaluable experience. They carefully perform tests and, in much detail, document the methodology employed, as well as the results of it, for the court’s appreciation. An expert toxicologist also appears before a judge or jurors to explain his findings and give an expert opinion regarding the medical and scientific facts and assumptions of a particular case.

One major legal battle that heavily relied on the services of toxicologists is the case of the people of Hinkley versus Pacific Gas and Electric Company, brought to fame by a firm paralegal named Erin Brockovich. That case alleged – and proved through toxicology reports, among others – that PG&E have indeed exposed the Hinkley residents to the pollutant chromium 6. The landmark case landed an enormous $333 million settlement in 1996, and inspired a Hollywood movie starring Julia Roberts. More than that, it highlighted how science and experts were helpful in delivering justice before the court of law.

In any fight for justice that involves hazardous materials, no lawyer or plaintiffs can stand before judge and jury to prove their case without the help of an expert witness. Environmental toxicology experts can be their partners to achieve true justice.