Published in Mold: Medical and Legal Elements, Dr. Ernest P. Chiodo
Lawyers in toxic torts litigation have a difficult burden in establishing each of the elements of a prima facie case for negligence. In such cases, it is not enough to simply go through the elements of negligence learned in law school. Particular attention must be paid to the elements of causation, and both general and specific causation need to be established. An expert witness trained and experienced in the field of toxicogenomics can help a skilled litigator successfully accomplish the client’s goals in a toxic torts case.
Toxicogenomics shows, through scientific study, what types of environmental stimuli can cause certain diseases and adverse results in a person. The field also studies the measure of exposure in specific cases involving disease. Each of these two facets of toxicogenomics can be leveraged in establishing both general and specific causation in a toxic torts case. This paper examines advances in toxicogenomics as a scientific field of study and also discusses the practical implications of the field for a lawyer in the context of a toxic torts case. An analysis of the role of the expert witness in the toxic torts case was also undertaken. This paper will demonstrate that toxicogenomics can be used by the skilled litigator to increase the likelihood of victory for the client in a toxic torts case.