TOXICOLOGY LITIGATION SUPPORT
Class Action and Toxic Tort
- Wrongful Death - These cases can result from anything from a motor vehicle accident (MVA) to a drug overdose. Individual reactions to prescription drugs such as methadone, exposures to chemicals in the workplace or hazardous chemical spills, or explosions have resulted in the deaths of exposed individuals.
- Drug Interactions - In drug interactions the metabolism of the drug in the liver is key. If both drugs are metabolized in the liver, the capability for metabolism may be overloaded, and one of the drugs will build up in the blood and produce an adverse event. This is only one type of possible interaction. Knowing the target organs, metabolic pathways, and pharmacokinetics of the drugs will provide an understanding of the situation that produced the injury.
- Misprescriptions - Although standard of care issues are considered, a major issue relates to the causal effect of the misprescribed drug on the patient. Many examples can be cited, but one in particular involves the misprescription of 6-mercaptopurine, an immunosuppressant and hemotoxic agent, in place of thyroid medication. The long-term implications of an immunosuppressed state are profound as demonstrated in untreated AIDS patients.
- Workplace Exposures - Workplace exposures can range from exposure to manganese in welding fumes to vinyl chloride exposure during the cleaning of polymerization vats in PVC production. Much depends on the industry and its ability to protect its workers. All aspects of the workers environmental exposures are considered, including hazard communications and protective equipment for the workers.
- Misuse of Products - A typical example of misuse is the inappropriate use of certain pesticides within a household resulting in adverse effects on the inhabitants: for example, the use of chlordane for termites and its intrusion into the household resulting in abandonment of the home.
- Adverse Effects of Pharmaceuticals - Many of these cases have received extensive publicity. Dr Parent has been involved in several such cases and has written many expert reports, some of which may be viewed on this website. The key to this litigation is to establish causation through the evaluation of company test results and literature citing the results of both animal studies and human clinical trials. Toxicology is the study of causation.
- Health Surveys Near Contaminated Sites - When industries do not pay attention to the proper disposition of their waste products, whole communities may be adversely affected. When confronted with this situation, a custom designed health survey created by Consultox to focus on target organ systems related to the individual chemicals will provide an initial assessment of the extent of related diseases, if any, within the community. This may or may not lead to the physical examination of the individuals and sampling of biological fluids. After completing a health survey in a recent project, Dr. Parent directed a program involving 1,200 individuals who were sampled for PCBs and dioxins in their blood. Dr. Parent can coordinate all efforts from environmental sampling to medical examinations and medical surveillance related to exposures at a given contaminated site.
- Environmental Hazard Assessment - Although there are guidelines for the cleanup of environmental contamination, the hazards and risks posed by the presence of toxic materials depends on whether the contamination is in soil, water, or air. Often, the contamination occurred many years ago, and health effects (cancer, etc.) are only beginning to appear: for example, sampling of “old dust” in homes can be used to identify past and continuing exposures to heavy metals or non-volatile PCBs or dioxins. Dr. Parent has directed multi-media sampling programs in conjunction with environmental firms.
- Effects Occupational Exposures and Health - Assessing the risks of health effects from occupational exposures may involve the adequacy of industrial hygiene, hazard communication, and safety programs. In larger industries, regular physical examinations provide one with indications of health effects which may or may not be related to on-the-job exposures. The criteria for establishing causation in Workers’ Compensation cases is less rigorous than in federal court, but the basic principles are the same.
Toxicology Notes and Literature
Toxicology Litigation Support